Game Day! - part 2

I mentioned that I regularly follow two teams.  For 16 yrs my fall and winter Sunday afternoons were spent preparing for afternoon football as my brother kicked for various teams in the NFL.  I’d have snacks ready (or be at the sports bar) and have his jersey on.  I would be very anxious, as gameday jitters when you have no control aren't as fun, but I was ready to watch.  Those days ended when he retired a few years ago.  So now?  I pack up my camera bag and head to the rink. 

Game day with the Waterloo Siskins Junior B hockey team is my new Sunday activity.  It starts in the morning, and goes until late into the evening, and sometimes into the next day.

In the morning, I am charging batteries and formatting memory cards, and going through the checklist of camera settings that I know work best in the arena in Waterloo.  I pack my bag, check my box of table signage, tablecloth, etc, and have a quick lunch since there is no time to eat once I arrive for the game. I enjoy this part of the morning as I still look forward to the game ahead and seeing friends at the rink.  I also take some time here to think about what kinds of unique shots I might want to try at the game.  Strictly action, or maybe try some artistic shots with close ups or unusual angles.

I try to arrive at the game 30 minutes early to set up my table, get suited up in my two camera harness, and get down to the ice to take closeups from the sin bin doors as they players come out of the bench for warmups.  This plan doesn’t always work as I can be easily distracted by good conversation with the team volunteers setting up their tables, or by loyal fans I see every week – or just because I don’t get there soon enough 😉.  Sometimes, I come running in later than I like, drop my gear and take off running with a camera for warm up shots.  Nothing confirms my love of these days, then when I return to my table, only to find that a volunteer unpacked my table box and set things up for me. 

I set up mid ice and capture the ceremonial puck drops and anthem singer(s).  Then…gametime!

I move all about the arena throughout the game getting action shots and capture fan games like trivia or chuck a puck.  Then I grab shots of winners with their stick.  I love moving about and chatting with fans during the game.  I even share my twizzlers on occasion.

When the game is over, the real work begins.  I go home and sit down at the computer to work.  It takes time to copy files from the memory cards to the computer, and then get them loaded into the program I used to cull and edit.  I would say that I take between 700-1000 shots each game and sometimes more when there are special events.  I keep about 250-350.  Culling and editing can take between 4-6 hours.  If not much going on at home I can get mostly done before bedtime, and if not, I work on them in the morning.  Then there is another hour to get them loaded into the online gallery for my website, emailing the appropriate people and posting to social media to let fans know the pics are up. 

All in all, a game usually takes about 10 hrs of my time.  I love half of that time and I manage the rest. 😉  Pictures can be purchased from my website.  And they sometimes are. But if I were doing this for just the money, I wouldn’t do it – or I would do it differently.  Because selling a few pictures does not properly compensate for my time or costs.   I do love doing it though.  So time will tell and maybe I figure out a better plan.  But for now, I will continue to get up on Sundays and get ready for the rink!


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