Thursday, November 13, 2014

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

After months of anticipation, this past week I had the privilege of being a part of Sports Shooter Academy XI out in Santa Ana, California. Not only was it led by an incredibly knowledgable and talented staff, but I was also surrounded by more than fifty extremely gifted participants coming from all over the world to take part in the event. I came home from California with new friendships, a great deal of knowledge and feeling inspired to keep improving.

First I was able to take a class with portrait legend Tim Mantoani.

Tim is extremely talented but is well known for photographing many of the athletes on the covers of EA Sports video games such as Madden. In addition to a great lesson I was able to get some hands-on practice at sports portraiture, this is a portrait of former Stanford volleyball player Jaimi Gregory.

The next part of the workshop provided the opportunity to create photos at La Habra Boxing Club.

A young boy trains at La Habra. 
A boxer spars in the ring with her trainer at La Habra.
Andre Daza poses for a photograph during a practice session at La Habra.
A boxer practices on a punching bag at La Habra.

Day two started with a men's soccer game between Orange Coast and Golden West and concluded with women's volleyball between the same two schools.

Orange Coast Forward Carlos Valencia battles for the ball with Golden West Midfielder Jonathan Canales.
Golden West Defender Fernando Perez takes a shot on goal.
Golden West Forward Juan Gutierrez reacts after missing a shot on goal.
Orange Coast and Grossmont shake hands prior to their volleyball match.
The Orange Coast and Grossmont volleyball teams huddle prior to their match. 
Orange Coast's Lehua Alama-Jordan spikes the ball past Golden West's Gabi Nguyen and Jewell Yandall 
The Grossmont volleyball team reacts after scoring to put them at match point. 
Orange Coast's Lehua Alama-Jordan attempts to spikes the ball past Golden West's Ashley Pettibone 
Sports Shooter Academy instructor and Seattle Seahawks team photographer Rod Mar takes a photo with the Orange Coast Pirate.

The final event of the workshop was a football game on Saturday afternoon between Santa Ana and Grossmont college.

Santa Ana and Grossmont watch as the coin is tossed by the official.
Santa Ana Receiver Lincoln Faletoi is taken down by the Grossmont defense,
Grossmont Running Back Thomas McDonald brings in a reception for a first down.
Santa Ana receiver Malik Richards avoids the tackle attempt of Grossmont Defensive Back Jemeil Jackson en route to a touchdown. 
Grossmont Defensive Lineman Phillip Diaz de Leon forces a fumble from Santa Ana Receiver Nathanael Nicholson.
Santa Ana Defensive Back Deion Hart is prevented from making an interception by Grossmont Receiver Leroy Henley
Santa Ana Quarterback Shane Truelove avoids the tackle attempt by Grossmont Linebacker Jordan Arnold.

The experience at SSA XI was one that will have a lasting impact on my photography career. Working alongside some amazing instructors and students created a great atmosphere for learning. Here a few behind the scenes shots from the workshop.

My friend Amanda Schwarzer captured this great image of Ben Jackson and I getting some words of wisdom from amazing photographer and fellow Long Islander Mike Carrado (center)
Instructor and Orange County Register staff photographer Mike Goulding assists me with some portrait ideas outside of La Habra Boxing Club.
This was too funny not to include. This is me behind the stadium testing my remote camera before the coin toss at the football game.
Some of the photographers at the football game.

When I have three hours to kill before my flight home, I pull over to take a photo of the sunset and say goodbye to California. No matter how cliche it is.

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