Senior Games 2014

In the summer of 2013, I embarked on an adventure to Cleveland, Ohio to be a staff photographer for the National Senior Games. Former Los Angeles Times photographer and Brooks Institute instructor Anacelto Rapping led the trip of  twelve Brooks students including me, all of whom were enrolled in Rapping’s Sports Photography class. The culmination of the class, the trip to cover the games proved to be one of the most important parts of my education.

The day would begin around 7 a.m. when we received our photo assignments, lasting until at least 11 p.m. as we captioned, processed and reviewed our work with the group.  In addition to submitting images to the National Senior Games for their daily newsletter, we also transmitted photos to other news outlets such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and ZUMA Press photo agency.

As a result of the experience I improved as a photographer, both on location in the field and back at our editing stations where we processed our images. The trip forced me to be out of my comfort zone by approaching the athletes of the games, asking their names and learning about their career.

I felt I was able to find my voice from this school trip and was able to come to the realization that I belong in the field of sports photography. The adrenaline to get the moment in action, or feature of joy or jubilation was what I craved each morning that I woke up and then the evening had me rushing to submit my images. It felt like a job, a taste of what the industry would provide.

If my story has piqued your interest and you want to be a part of this unique experience, you can enroll in the Sports Photography class during the summer semester.  Once again scheduled to be led by Anacleto Rapping, the class will cover the 2015 National Senior Games, which takes place July 3-July 16, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is an incredible opportunity for all programs–not just the Visual Journalism program at Brooks Institute. I encourage you to take a risk, hop on a flight and prepare for a trip that you won’t forget. Let the games begin!