The Free Lance-Star Photography Department shares the stories behind the photos.

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All-Area Sportraiture Blues

Aside from one more portrait and a couple mugshots I’ve finished with the fall’s All-Area series. I tried to go fairly simple and while a couple of the frames are above-average, most are only good enough. So, next season I’m thinking I should plan BIG or maybe leave it to another photographer to apply their magic to it. Over the past few years I’ve been shooting a lot of these all-area sportraits, probably because I tend to be most enthusiastic about sports photography. I think I might be getting a little burned out on it.

Not to throw more excuses at you but I was a bit distracted the last couple weeks with both work and non-work issues and I feel like it shows, particularly with this portrait series. As always, some of the kids were good to work with, a few had egos the size of Texas. With projects like this, there is a huge benefit that comes with a lot of planning instead of going with the minimalist set-up and hoping for the best. This year we went with team pictures in the studio and then outdoor portraits of the top kids. In the past we’ve gone with themes tied to news events but I never liked how those turned out. The last few times I’ve worked in some gimmicky-type things like using a tilt/shift lens or a plain background á la Avedon to isolate the subject. I like the simple approach in that it lets the viewer see the athlete otherwise the picture becomes more about the photographer than the subject. The problem is that year in and year out, it can become a bit tired and predictable.  Anyway, here’s a contact sheet to see where things stand…  Nothing really special, I think. Just easy, predictable pictures. -Mike Morones