During spring and summer, I generally avoid going to the beach because of the crowds, especially on the weekends. But when work calls it is different.
Last weekend, one of the first sunny weekends in a while, Professional Beach Volleyball was taking over the sand and I was asked to photograph it. Misty May-Treanor, Nicole Branagh, April Ross, Jennifer Kessy, Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser, John Hyden and Sean Scott to name a few. The best beach volleyball players in the world and I am front row.
When I tell people that I am going to an event like a Major League Baseball or Pro Beach Volleyball I get the feeling they envision me sitting back and enjoying the day, maybe making a few snapshots between sips of a cold drink along the way. There is a little more to it than that.
First of all there is parking, never easy near the beach on a summer day. Bring in thousands of more volleyball fans and good luck. Oh did I mention there was a surf contest going on also that weekend. I must be living right because I have a wife that was happy to drop me of and pick me up just steps from the event.
Planning for these events is important. If you don’t have what you need and you have to leave the action to go find something, well that is a very bad thing. Cameras, a couple of lenses, extra everything, sunscreen, water, ect., generally about 40 pounds.
The organization behind the event, American Volleyball Professionals, does a great job accommodating the media. I have been to events in the past that don’t seam to appreciate that hundreds of thousands of people will view the photos and that giving the photographer proper access is crucial to good images.
So there I was, sun at my back, feet in the sand, cameras in hand and the best athletes in their sport doing their thing just for me. Just another day at the beach!
To read more about the tournament, winners and to see more photos check out the article in The Orange County Register, O.C. Volleyball players win AVP tournament.