Sunday, October 02, 2011


Jessie, the young lady in the photo above, showed up in front of my camera so full of physical energy it was difficult to bring her down to manageable`shooting levels. And no, there were no tell-tale signs of any tweaky drugs involved. It was just her. When she walked out in front of me in bra and panties and wearing those beat-up Converse sneaks, it should have been my first clue.

I didn't want to relax her too much. I definitely wanted to take advantage of her energy. But keeping her in one spot long enough to snap a few images was difficult. I'm not a sports photographer.

I'll admit her energy was contagious. Almost at once, my ass was up off the apple box it's usually plopped on and I was moving about, trying snag some pics. Unfortunately, it was like herding a cat. She was so energetic! I could barely keep her in one spot long enough to focus, much less keeping here where I needed her to be for my lights to do their jobs the way I wanted them to perform.

Don't get me wrong, I was loving her energy! I simply would have loved it more if I could capture it in focus and close to a spot where one or more of my lights weren't over-exposing her. She was on a 9' wide seamless and the seamless was in a room that didn't afford much space to get my lights very far away from her, especially my back lights set on either side, just off the seamless.

I decided to wear her out a bit. "Let's see you jump," I said.

"Jump?" she asked, a bit of a confused look on her face.

"Yeah, jump. Jump as high as you can from a standing position. And give me some kind of a pose and a great expression while your up there." I told her, pointing towards the top of the seamless with my index finger.

So, jump she did.

"Jump again!" I directed her. She jumped again.

I kept having her jump until she started jumping a little less high each time. And boy! That took more jumps than I thought. I would have been worn out after two or three. But an eighteen year old can jump a lot before tiring.

My client wasn't looking for jumping shots of Jessie. My client was looking for sexy, glam shots. Regardless, I snapped my shutter each time she jumped. I'm a photographer, right? That's what we do. And it was fun doing it! Jessie was also having a blast jumping while I was having a great time photographing her in seemingly gravity-defying ways.

Soon enough, I told her she could quit jumping. I offered her a bottle of H2O and she gulped some of it down while she caught her breath. In a minute or two, we were back making pictures. This time, she kept on her mark yet still displayed plenty of energy: Her energy was now manageable. It was also more emotional and much less physical. We had a great shoot together!


Nadja said...

Fantastic photo!
Seems to me that you have a talent for sport photography, anyway.
What do you think Jimmy, a change of (the boring old environment) for a while?

jimmyd said...

Nadja: I'm not a big sports fan. In spite of that, I love baseball and have loved it, both playing it and being a fan, since I was a kid. I occasionally go to games, altho my team's home stadium is three thousand miles away. (That would be Yankee Stadium.)

Having expressed my love for baseball, I'm not an all-around sports fan. I don't watch football, basketball, prize fighting, hockey, tennis, or most any other sport on TV.

I think photographers are best at what they shoot when they love what they shoot... that's why I love shooting women and I think that love shows in my work.

I could probably shoot baseball. And I'd love doing that. But it seems to me good sports photographers are also all-around sports fans, not to mention they're usually called on to shoot different sports. I probably would do okay shooting women's beach volleyball. Gotta love it when those girls jump high for a spike while wearing a skimpy bikini! :-)

Nadja said...

Oké Jimmy.
Yes, you are right of course, a photographer should love his subject.
And indeed it shows in your photos that you love women.
You make them look great.
I will keep on 'following' your blog than, I hate sports...
Would make an exception for your beach volley ball photos, of course!
Sorry, Jimmy, for my bad humour.
I always tell myself, to hold it inside, but... as you noticed, often I fail.