Is a part of your summer fun to attend sporting events in support of a family member? Well, now that my husband has started running, it has become a part of mine! As any sports enthusiast or sports enthusiast’s spouse/parent/sibling knows, the participant wants an audience. It’s akin to the question about the tree falling in the woods. If a runner crosses the finish line but no one they know was there to witness it, did they even run the race?
And so I found myself yesterday at the very colorful 10th annual Keep Austin Weird Festival + 5K in downtown Austin, Texas. There was a large stage featuring one band after another, plentiful drinks and food and lots of Austinites doing their utmost to keep their fair city as weird as possible (read: lots of fun costumes). The festival ran from early afternoon on into the night, and the race was set to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Do you have any idea how hot it gets in Texas in the summer? Let me put it this way: When the starter pistol rang out at 7:00, it had come down to 95 degrees. Yes, you do have to be a little crazy to run in this weather, but then I guess that’s part of the point at this festival.
So, just in case you, like me, are the official cheerleader and photographer at events like this, following are a few things I’ve learned about capturing the kind of images you will need to tell the whole story later in your scrapbook pages and/or blog.
Take your best camera
As scrapbookers, one of our most important tools is our camera. If you have more than one—the expensive camera and the little spy camera you keep in your purse at all times—haul along the good one. You will hate the weight of it, as well as fumbling with changing lenses if you have a DSLR, but you will be so much happier with the photos you get. Lug it and love it.
When I’m photographer at Matt’s races, I get a workout, too. I wear a large backpack so that I can carry my camera equipment as well as Matt’s supplies, so it gets rather heavy. And I run a lot to be where the shot is. Because of this I wear clothes that are roomy so they don’t cling to me when I sweat, appropriate for the weather and really practical. Yesterday I wore a comfy sun dress and tennis shoes. I’m sure I couldn’t have won any prizes for fashion, but my clothes didn’t hinder me, and that’s all I cared about.
Get before and after photos
Before I let Matt head over to the starting line, I make him stand for a few photos. I want to have shots of him while he’s still fresh and clean as well as nervous for the event to come. I also do my best to be at the finish line to capture his last steps. But I also make sure to shadow him as he huffs and puffs his way over to the water and banana stand. The idea is to get photos of the red face, the sweat and the exhaustion. If he worked that hard, I want to be sure to celebrate it on my layout later.
Capture the local flavor
There’s always something interesting about the location of an event. If it’s in a rural setting, be sure to set the scene by capturing the natural surroundings. If it’s in an urban setting like this festival we attended, get shots of the skyline and the crowds.
Vary the distance of your shots
To tell the whole story of an event, it’s important to get photos that expose different perspectives. You want close-up shots of the sporting equipment your family member is using, images of the crowds, posed and unposed photos of your subject and action shots. Vary the distance, vary the perspective.
Conduct a post-event interview
When Matt is still breathing heavily and high on adrenaline at the end of a race, I like to flip over to the video feature on my camera and spend a few minutes capturing his thoughts about the event. Not only is it great to have this video to watch in the future, but also it provides such a rich source of journaling for that layout you’re going to create later!
Don’t let those summer days drift away without capturing the sun-drenched fun!
Product/technique notes: All the supplies I used on this layout are from the BasicGrey Serendipity and Shine On collections.
Danie May says
This is a great layout Janice , I am loving the bright background papers which suits your bright and colorful photos perfectly! Your tips about capturing photos of such events are fabulous too. I have just brought my first DSLR camera, and think I am probably going to need a Uni Degree to learn how to work it…..lol. It certainly sounds like your town has a wonderful and fabulously fun spirit combining such a festival with a running event. xx
Janice Daquila-Pardo says
Thanks, Danie. Austin is a fun town. In fact, we pride ourselves so much on being free spirited that our unofficial motto is actually “Keep Austin Weird!” You see bumper stickers and t-shirts with that logo everywhere. I’m so happy to hear you got yourself a DSLR camera; you’re going to LOVE it. I love ours. And you know, there are a lot of YouTube videos out there to learn from, so you can get comfortable with it quickly. Although there’s always more to learn about photography, isn’t there? That’s the fun of it! 🙂