I think my favorite things in photography is the uncertainty about a gig; not knowing what to expect, and if needed, thinking on your feet, making the best of a less-than-perfect situation, and walking away feeling good about it.
In pretty much that situation, I walked away feeling good about the photo shoot I had with the Mayfield softball teams, and the great bunch of young ladies I had met.
The shoot, initially scheduled at their practice field, was rumored to be at the Field of Dreams. After everyone had made the 200-yard walk across the parking lot to the FOD, it was finally determined that the pictures would be taken at the less scenic practice field. We then waited another 30 minutes trying to gain access to the field. With the shoot finally starting at 4:45 (an hour late), and the sun setting at roughly 5:50, and 34 girls to shoot, I had to work fast!
34 girls might not sound like too many, but I had to get group shots, team shots, and a variety of poses for the team poster. Since girls tend to be a bit pickier about their appearance and like to try different poses, I plan on longer sessions. If it were 34 boys, I would have been done in 20 minutes.
Long after the varsity team had left, a group of junior varsity/freshman players hung around to try some extra shots, which turned out to be some of my favorites. Since the juice in my battery pack was low, I went to a single light and put the girls to work by having them position my reflector. By the time we were done, it was dark and my battery and I were spent.
Gear-wise, I used a Profoto portable battery pack, powering two studio strobes to balance out the full daylight. For modifiers, I used a beauty dish as the main, and a softbox as a fill. The nice thing about shooting in daylight is the sun makes a fantastic hair light. To lessen the depth of field, I used a diffusion filter when it was brighter, but abandoned the idea and made the decision to work out the distracting background elements in post.
I’ve since had a chance to shoot the Lady Trojans in action against Eldorado and at the Southern New Mexico Softball Invite, and they’re fun to watch; it will be an interesting season in District 3-5A. Good luck Lady Trojans!