Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Special Olympics Fall Games

A few weekends ago, we volunteered to join the media team for Special Olympics Southern California to photograph the Fall Games, which was a huge event attracting more than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California who competed for gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons in soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and more.

Daily, I work with kids who are functioning far below their chronological age level, and I try my best to help them be as independent as possible in the school setting.  Though it can be challenging, I find my job very rewarding and fun.  While Wes has not had much exposure to interactions with kids with special needs, he has a wealth of experience in sports photography.  Since high school, he has been shooting football, soccer, volleyball, waterpolo, etc., with his trusty 4-megapixel Canon 1D.  He also shoots games at Pasadena City College and Azusa Pacific after work these days, just for fun.  So when this opportunity came up, we both thought that it would be a cool way to merge our interests in a place outside of the kitchen.

It was a really uplifting experience for us.  I got to see the future image of my client population as teenagers and adults in action - kicking, batting, volleying, tumbling, laughing, collaborating.  The athletes were all healthy, happy, and confident; it was so heartwarming.  With the 24-70, I captured times of relaxation, anticipation, and togetherness on the sidelines.  With his 300, Wes captured moments of intensity, action, and determination on the field.  Our combined pictures encapsulate the people for who they are - multifaceted, talented guys and girls who have worked hard all their lives, while never growing out of having fun.  It was definitely a weekend to remember for both of us.

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