Thursday, July 26, 2012

Newborn Shoot: Bryce William Jaeger

Dave and Lauren brought baby Bryce into the studio at five weeks old for his first professional photo session. Lauren and Dave brought a bunch of props for us to play with, including Lauren's childhood stuffed animal, a cousin's Tonka truck and some big letters that spelled out his name. I contributed a vintage suitcase I'd recently found. Although a tad fussy at times, Bryce was a joy to work with. It was a super fun shoot. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Trials: Ashton Eaton, For the Gold!

Hi Everyone, thank you again for your responses to my last post. I really appreciate the love :). In continuance with my post yesterday, is a part two about Ashton Eaton. His story is a truly remarkable one that I wanted to highlight.

On the date of this shoot, at the end of the 1,500 meter race, Ashton Eaton became a decathlete, but not just any decathlete. Rising above the highest point level ever set for a decathelte; that day, Ashton Eaton, captured and now holds the world's record for the completion of 10 Olympic events in 2 days....and he did it on the 100th anniversary of the first decathlete's success.

Easton made history by competing and successfully accomplishing, by Olympic standards; the 100 meter, the 400 meter, the long jump, the 110 meter hurdles, the shot put, the discus, the high jump, the pole vault, the javelin, and finally winning first in the 1,500 meter race.

In a breathtaking effort, Eaton, stepped on to the Olympic field for the 1,500 meter race to compete in the final Olympic event that would give him a place in history. Thousands of eyes landed on him as the starting gun was shot. Pacing his stride, in a relentless battle even against bursts of rain and wind, 4:14.48 minutes later Eaton crossed the finishing point, breaking even his own personal best for the race.

Just as he crossed the mark, even his competition cheered and embraced Eaton for beating them to the line. The shock of emotion that ran through Eaton was instantaneous and overwhelming. He brought his hands to his face and his head in a moment of complete awe in his accomplishment. Tears poured down his face as his fiance, Brianne Theisen, an Olympic heptathlon herself, embraced him in congratulations. Moments later Eaton walked to his coach, Harry Marra, to clutch his sleeve as Marra, in a broken voice, expressed his heartbreaking pride in Eaton. Former decathlete winner, Bruce Jenner, joined them, to give his congratulations and embraced Marra for his part.

Eaton proceeded to walk by the stands as thousands cried his praises. He held up his hands in the shape of an "O" to represent Oregon University, and then, flag in hand, pressed his fingers to his lips in another moment of disbelief. I still get goosebumps from it.

After being awarded, Eaton was interviewed on the Track Town Nike stage for his accomplishment, and a fan pressed a shoe into his hands, pleading him to sign it. He happily did, and I happily captured it. What a day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Summer Olympic Trials of 2012, in Eugene, Oregon

This year I was honored by Chobani in being chosen to cover a part of the Olympic Trials in Eugene Oregon. It was an amazing adventure that humbled me, becoming a true accent of my career so far. Below are some of my photography highlights of the event. I saw history in the making with Ashton Eaton's story, which will be a part two blog post, but I was also privileged to see a variety of other athletes demonstrate virtually unparalleled athleticism. The events I covered are below, in chronological order; the women's triple jump, women's 100 meter and 400 meter,  men's 800 meter, 400 meter, and 1,500 meter, women's 100 meter hurdles, women's pole vault, women's second 400 meter and finally the men's 100 meter. The difficulty of the events, paired with the frequent rain and harsh wind, seemed to bring forth an intense competitive energy with the joy of completion ever sweeter. I was wrapped in the emotion of the adornment of the crowd, the embraces of family members and the swell of American pride. One day I hope I'll go again, maybe even just as a spectator with my own family, to yet again be a part of something brilliant and historic.

Pouring rain on the first day of my shoot, the Olympic Trail employees used wind blowers to dry Oregon University's Hayward Field. 
For the two days that I was covering this event I felt carried away by a hum of excitement. I got to be in the pit with the "big boys" 90 percent, 40+ old, male photographers with pro athletic photo gear in the pouring rain. And even though I didn't have the same set up, I felt like a puppy champ!
 KU's triple jumper, Andrea Geubelle, flies and lands into the pit spraying wet sand.
Women's 100 meter and 400 meter sweet shots.
Mens' 800, 400, and some of the 1,500 meter sweet shots, which include extra shots of Eaton's victory. One shot in particular where the proud Oregon Duck holds his hands up in an "O" to signify his love for the University.
Women's 100 meter hurdles with the three winners; Lolo Jones, Dawn Harper, and Kellie Wells.
The grace and beauty of the pole vaulters was like watching something out of a science fiction movie.
In the women's final 400 meter Sanya Richards-Ross, a past Olympic competitor, took to the field like a bird in flight. She was a marvel to watch as she flew past her opponents to attain an Olympic spot. I will definitely have my eye on her.

Finally, the men's 100 meter. It was an amazing way to end my Olympic Trial's experience, as I saw Justin Gatlin and Ryan Bailey congratulate each other, tears streaming down their faces, all the while holding up their sons in celebration of their victory. This was probably one of the most touching moments I've ever been blessed to capture.