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.
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.|