Luke and I had a blast last weekend. We were runners for USA Today at Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis.
Usually our father-son journeys revolve around attending concerts by our favorite bands, but this time we had the opportunity to help out longtime freelance client USA Today and their photographers by running memory cards back and forth to the photo workroom during the game.
I logged 14 miles and 36,800 steps during the night, while Luke registered 97 flights of stairs. My knees!
When we got home, one of the local TV stations did a neat little story on our experience:
It was Jack’s first season of cross country this fall. We always knew he was fast, but he really turned it on this season. He placed third in the meet pictured here (out of over 50 seventh-grade runners), and then placed 14th overall out of 105 runners in the season-ending city meet. Great job Jack.
I don’t often get to incorporate my kids into shoots, but it’s always fun when I do. Jack recently worked as my model for a South Dakota Tourism shoot at Palisades State Park, and it involved the outdoors and kayaking, two of his favorite things. I captured this moment after we had just loaded up the kayaks after finishing the shoot.
Allow me a brief moment to brag.
We had a great time in Minneapolis this weekend; my daughter Anna was invited to sing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch of a Minnesota Twins MLB game, and she knocked it out of the park (pardon the pun). She celebrated her 18th birthday three days earlier.
Anna has been a very active singer since she was a toddler, and will continue to sing as a member of South Dakota State University’s concert choir this fall.
Proud papa here!
Jona Leo is a big dude.
He can lift more than you can. Actually, he can lift you AND two of your best friends at the same time. Jona has bench-pressed over 800 pounds several times in competition, which is totally mind-blowing. Unreal.
I was assigned to photograph Jona and his family for the Northwestern (IA) College alumni magazine, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Or stronger. I was a little tentative when it came time to shake hands, but I got through it just fine.
I shoot a lot of sports.
Not like I used to, of course. Back in my newspaper days, nearly every shift had a game or match of some kind to cover, and it got old after awhile. So old, in fact, that when I finally left the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, I had lost much of my desire to cover sports at all. Everything was beginning to look the same.
Then I had kids. And those kids started playing sports.
Much like I might take candid family photos around the house or try to make lemonade out of a boring holiday gathering by teasing my in-laws in front of the camera to get a blackmail-worthy photo, I naturally bring the camera to nearly all of my kids’ sporting events. Once I get a few good action photos to cover myself, I start looking for moments. In this case, I shot Jack while he glanced over at a teammate who was goofing around on second base.
Other parents often ask if I regret shooting at these times, as if to suggest that I’m missing out on actually watching the events my kids are participating in. To the contrary, I get a better experience out of bringing the camera along.
Unlike the majority of other parents I know, I’m not worried about camera settings or screwing up the shot…and that takes the pressure off and allows me to get a much better view of the game through the lens.
The satisfaction of recording memorable moments is addictive, like any other type of photography…and when my kids are involved, it doesn’t get much better.
Geocaching is fun.
Never heard of it? I hadn’t either, until just a couple of years ago. Geocaching is an outdoor sport of sorts, where you use a GPS handheld device to hunt small containers (caches) that others have left. There is a paper log inside, where you write down your username from geocaching.com and the date you found the cache. If the cache is big enough, there will be some cheap trinkets inside. The idea is that you take something from the cache, and also leave something in the cache. Maybe it’s a coupon for a free slushy at your local ice cream parlor, or a McDonalds Happy Meal toy, or a coin. But it’s not about the booty, it’s about the journey.
The boys and I love to get out each spring and geocache in local rec areas…basically it’s an excuse to shake off the remnants of winter and enjoy some time together outdoors. In the picture above, the boys have found a beaver-infested tree.