It was a rocky start to the high school football season for both me and the Vandebilt Catholic High School Terriers.
Like last season, I am shooting all of VCHS’s football games this season. The Terriers opened up the season three weeks ago on the road at ED White. I live close to two hours away so I left very early to meet a friend for an early dinner and planned to get to the stadium at least an hour early to shoot photos of the team during warmups on the field.
After dinner at White Bowl, a lovely little vietnamese restaurant in Houma (which by the way has amazing coffee), I headed to the stadium. I gave myself what I thought was plenty of time to get there, an hour and twenty minutes. As I was driving through some fairly heavy rain and traffic, I noticed my phone was about to shut off from low battery and I quickly realized my car charger had not been working. Given that I use my phone as a GPS, this was not good. I had no clue how to get to the stadium if the phone died.
I quickly pulled into a Walgreens to get a new charger. At that point, I was running behind my carefully planned schedule. Being in a hurry, of course there was a line at the checkout and it was moving at a snail’s pace. Looking at a clock on the wall, I was starting to get very impatient and the time just kept ticking away. I knew the parking by the stadium was not great and at this point I was going to be lucky to find a close spot.
Finally, I was out of the store and I literally ran to my car with the new charger. I plugged it in and took off to the stadium as quickly as possible. Again, I hit traffic and the rain seemed to only add to my frustration. I pulled up next to the stadium and parking was what I thought it would be. I had about 20 minutes until kickoff and I hadn’t even parked yet. When I finally did get a space and had all of my camera gear ready to go, it was about 5 minutes to kickoff. To most people that may seem okay, not for me. I am someone that has to be everywhere 10 minutes early and according to my schedule, I was 55 minutes late.
Once I was in the stadium, I figured everything would be okay. I had my rain gear for my cameras, brought only the important gear out of the car (to avoid getting some of my gear wet) and while I missed getting pre game warmups, I was still there in enough time not to miss game action. Of course, I would be wrong.
I left my wide angle lens in my car since the rain around the area was so heavy and I didn’t have a rain cover for it. Also, I shoot photos of individual players most of the time so I rarely use the lens unless I am shooting photos more for myself (like overall shots of the stadium). Still, I usually always carry that lens with me.
A few minutes into the game I realized how big of a mistake it was to leave the wide lens in my car. The rain had stopped and the golden afternoon light was absolutely beautiful. A perfect rainbow developed over the stadium and as the clouds cleared a fantastic sunset painted the sky behind the press box. All I could do was sit there in disbelief and frustration. As a photographer, I live to shoot beautiful photos like what was happening before my eyes and I have been waiting for a nice rainbow at a high school game.
I still can’t believe how much bad luck I had that day. Somehow, I managed to shoot several images that I really liked. Now, I will never go anywhere without my wide lens by my side and I will probably get to games even earlier than I used to. Below are some of my favorites from the game.