Five years of shooting photos at Cal Poly as a student and it suddenly is over. For 2 official seasons, and one random one, many of my images have graced the sides of Mott Gym and Spanos Stadium, been on banners, and other various marketing material.
For fall 2018, I had the pleasure of taking photos of the amazing athletes of Cal Poly Football, Volleyball, Cross Country, and Women's and Men's Soccer. Each shoot is not a simple task. It has taken years of collecting the right gear and mentality to take on the job of photographing over 50 people for marketing material. I started off with some simple Canon strobes and a black cloth backdrop taped to the side of the gym. Now, I have a professional setup with a white paper backdrop and tethered shooting. Although some say gear can't help you with photography, it certainly can open up new doors.
I started off with Volleyball in the morning. It is always exiting and sad to see new players on the rise. For five years, I have seen players come and go. It all started with my third year at Cal Poly. I always wanted to take dramatic photos of the Cal Poly athletes. I talked to Athletics, and I was able to take photos during that season for myself and athletics department. Soon after, with a new people in Athletics, the photos were used for marketing material that season.
During that time, it just happened that the photos were used in such a big way. Now(a few months ago) it was my job to take the photos. It is very exciting to create and shoot a big production. But now, I will be shooting all my commercial work not as a student. I was able to pass on the torch to my buddy to shoot their marketing material.
After Volleyball came Soccer. Unlike the year before, the images looked "normal" instead of the 3D look from the past year. New design approach. Like the year before, I had a three light setup. Two strip lights on the sides and one soft box in front. The white backdrop was a wide Savage paper backdrop with a few feet of sweep on the floor. It is fairly durable, but once soccer players walk on it and start moving around, there seems to almost always be a hole afterwards. Unlike the first year, I was now using a full frame Canon to get a better image, which is much different quality than the Canon 60D I started out using. Looking forward, commercial photography as a career is my goal. I draw a lot of ideas and inspiration from others, but the main fire that always keeps me shooting is seeing my images on display around Cal Poly.