I was recently approached about photographing a special group of kids who played basketball out west for the Western Special Needs Basketball Club...
This came as I'd not long before been reflecting on how I hadn't shot anything 'junior sports' related for a while and how I'd missed the environment and atmosphere. So when the opportunity presented itself I have to admit I was a little wrapped.
I was initially advised to lower my expectation of photographic brilliance as certain "conditions" that the children possessed may inhibit their attention span as well as their willingness to smile for the camera. But regardless I approached the job with the same "Let's have fun" approach I try to bring to all other jobs when I have to win a child's trust in order to achieve the best photo.
Due to time constraints, we decided to take the club photo first, after only being in the same room as these kids for about 15 minutes. But nevertheless, after some basketball banter and self deprecation, this was the result we achieved. 25 kids with special needs, looking straight down the barrel, looking proud and most importantly, happy!
As it turns out, the individual portraits were a hit with the parents too.
So I walk away from this one with a greatly appreciated and improved learning curve... as well as that warm fuzzy feeling!!