Shooting a sport I’ve never photographed before can be both exciting and terrifying. On one hand, I’m approaching it with fresh eyes, but at the same time I’m not sure what the “standard shot” is. The last time I had this foreign yet freeing experience of shooting an unknown sport was a couple summers ago with the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo. Notre Dame lacrosse was a fun assignment: I moved around along the sidelines and spent the entire third quarter shooting down from the roof of the press box to mix up my vantage points. It was hard resisting the urge to motordrive through bits of action in an attempt to catch the ball or the sticks in interesting peak action moments. This made for a long editing process after the game since I shot more than I probably should have. Good games always provide for good pictures and such was the case on Saturday: Notre Dame trailed for most of the game, but made a furious comeback to win 9-7 to advance in the tournament.
Last week I got to hang out at Marian lacrosse team practice to photograph John Jessup, a senior captain, who has a prosthetic leg. Jessup was born missing four toes on his right toe and with Fibular Hemimelia, a condition where one leg is substantially shorter and smaller than the other. At age 15 when he started experiencing pain in his knees and hip, he decided to have his right leg amputated. I’ve never photographed lacrosse before and although I was unfortunately unable to shoot a game for this story, it looked like a very interesting – and challenging – sport to shoot. His coach refers to him as an assistant coach because of his skill on the field and knowledge of the game.