Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Just posted a new portfolio to the clemphoto.com website.

Youth Football.

Watching these kids move from inexperienced trepidation to hit-seeking missiles is a remarkable experience. I helped with coaching my kids teams for a few years and that helped me gain intimacy that would have been impossible otherwise. But it is very difficult to coach with a camera dangling from your shoulder so I had to pick my spots carefully.

The action itself did not interest me as much as the mood and light of the subject. Indoor sports have perpetually bland light but football always gives you something to work with. I found myself still concentrating on faces - something of a trend with me - and how they looked just before and after the action.

Sometimes I had to be a full time coach (nobody else showed up) and wrangle 25 boys thru their paces, drills, and scrimmages.

It was a blast. I highly recommend it.

Coaching Horror Story:
Flag football practice. 9 year olds. It's late. We are all tired. The sunlight is fading fast, no lights on a YMCA practice field.  Trying to have the boys execute a reverse. Our two speedster wide-outs collide head-to-head in the backfield at full speed. No helmets.

Sickest. Sound. Ever.

For a long moment, they are both on the ground motionless and I am certain I have just killed two boys.

They came out OK. Giant goose eggs. 10 minutes later they are cutting up with friends like nothing happened.

Ah, youth!

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