Let me start by saying I’m not a track mom, so this was all new to me. A friend recently asked if I could come take pictures of her son at his track meet. You know me…I’m always up for a new adventure with my camera. And shooting pictures at a track meet was definitely new to me.
I thought back to my middle school years – the last time I set foot on a track. I remember running a few relay races, but that was about it for me. After my eighth grade year, track was no longer one of my activities.
I arrived to the track meet in the middle of it. Lots of events had already happened, and so many people were milling about. At this particular track, they had a giant screen and a loud speaker announcing the events as they happened and announced where and when kids should check in to take part in their events.
I found my friend and we ran to a spot that we thought would be best to capture some shots of her son’s hurdle event. Just moments before the start, we realized that we were at the wrong end of the track. So we packed my camera and raced through the many people milling about down to the other end of the track.
I found an open gate, walked through it (like I knew what I was doing) out onto the grass around the track, and got set up to capture some pictures. Now remember, this was my first time at a track meet, so there was definitely a learning curve. How high was he going to jump? How fast would he get down close to where I was standing with my camera? And what if a person walked in front of me?
I was shooting with my fixed 300mm lens, which for you non-camera nerds, means I wouldn’t be able to zoom in and out. Once he got too close to me, I wouldn’t be able to take anymore pictures. I needed to be in just the perfect place to capture these pictures.
I had one chance to get pictures of him during this event. On top of everything else going on around me, this was one of the last events of the entire meet, so the sun was dropping quickly. The low light, combined with fast runners jumping over hurdles, made this a difficult task.
So I’d say for a beginner, I did pretty well. I already have so many ideas for next time! I’m excited to see what other events I can get pictures of. I think I need to look into a “press pass” so I can get out into the middle of all the action to get the good shots.
This was such a fun experience. I’m ready for my next track meet. If you need help with track pictures, updated family photos, maybe a baseball or softball player who wants some action shots, or if you have a senior who needs some cap and gown pictures, you can find me over at Paula Mason Photography. Just let me know how I can help you.
Until next time…