It’s that time a year again when the sports desk sends the email that they’ve picked the Athletes of the Year. It’s also that time a year that we brainstorm possible locations, themes and new ways to create the portraits.
Unlike with previous seasons, we decided this year to ask each athlete to come down to the Times-Call. This was far easier than trekking a ton of equipment to half-a-dozen different locations. Having them come down also gave the project a sense of continuity and we even found a green chair at the last minute for a prop. We thought it was funny when one reader asked where the chair went after seeing it for two consecutive days. Trust us reader, we did use the chair with every portrait, but we didn’t base our edit around the furniture. While we liked the continuity, we were also looking for some variations.
All in all photographing our Athletes of the Year is always a good time. It’s great to actually talk with these young athletes instead of just photographing their talents. And, we even learn a little more about them as students and people. For example, you’d never guess that girls golf standout Gina Larson’s favorite trucker hat comes from her favorite store: Bass Pro Shops. The fact that boys swimmer Connor Dwyer likes to rock garage sale classes while pulling lifeguard duty at Fox Hill wasn’t evident to me while covering his second place finish at the state championship meet. It’s reasons such as these that I like photographing the Athletes of the Year.
To all of them, congratulations and best of luck to those carrying their talents to the next level. Go Oregon State! (Not really, but that was a shout out for Jacy Drobney.)