When ever make a photograph that I'm pleased with, I always look at it as a gift. It doesn't matter what type of photograph it is. There's a million examples. The sun aligned and the light was sweet on the field of lupine. The baby looked at the camera and smiled. The fall colors were peaking on the ridge as the morning fog burned off. The model looked up and let her soul shine through her eyes. These are all gifts that I'm fortunate enough to have recognized and preserved with my camera. I say thank you to the universe and feel filled with gratitude every time it happens. Mother Nature, the person, the weather... whatever... has given me something precious. As a photographer, I value what those photographs say and the feelings they inspire.
Nowhere is this idea more apparent to me than when I'm photographing sports. The athletes are generous with their gifts of winning, accomplishment, strength, endurance, inspiration and so much more. I always feel privileged to have these amazing people in front of my lens. I try hard to capture everything they are in 1/1000th of a second.
This past weekend I photographed the Granite State Snowshoe Championships. I made a lot of photos that I'm really happy with but two series of images stand out to me. In both frames, Nacho Hernando looked into my lens, showed me how he felt about his performance and gave me the chance to capture the story of the race. The image on the left was made in the first 10 minutes of the race and Nacho was in the lead. The photo on the right was about 35 minutes later and things had changed. Jim Johnson, the race winner, had passed two minutes before and Nacho was now in second. In both cases, whether he knew it or not, Nacho was giving me the photograph. And like all the images I make, I'm thankful for that.