Be Charitable as You Learn

20091003__RAD0293 When was the last time you gave some time to a worthwhile cause?  Well, you should.  I could give you the standard line of how good this is for your soul/karma/community.  Or how you’ve got a great life in this great country, and everyone should give back something to show their gratitude.  I could chide you that I’m tired of hearing people talk about it “taking a village” or how they are “compassionate conservatives,” and it’s time to stop talking and start doing.  I could do that, but, believe me, you don’t want me to climb up on that soapbox.  After all, this is a photography blog.  OK, I hear you….  This is an ideal way to work on your photography and post-processing skills!  These organizations are always looking for help publicizing their work, and you can help them out while working on becoming a better photographer.  You can put yourself into challenging situations – outside of the sterile studio – and you’ll make lots of new contacts.

Kathy, one of my long-time friends and a fellow blogger (read her at Reinventing a Bloomer), called me up late last week.  She works for St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, in Norfolk, Va.  St. Mary’s cares for children who have severe disabilities as a result of birth disorders, traumatic accidents, illness or child abuse. They provide clinical, educational, recreational and support services with a gentle touch.  They were getting ready for their 21st annual 5K run/walk fundraiser, and a last minute issue took away their photographer.  Could I help out?  Well, I’m a sucker for children, so I signed up.  So, today we are photographing a running event, so let’s talk about what you want to do in order to properly document it.

Think about the important parts of a race to create your shot list.  You’ll need some pre-race shots to set the scene.  Teams are always happy to get their photos taken.  Here is Team Hoyt getting ready to push the carts.

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You always have some people who get into the spirit in strange ways – we had an astronaut on skates.  Lots of friends meeting again, before the race.  Don’t forget to take a couple of scene-setting shots, too.

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As the race gets ready to begin, you want to catch the crowd, and they’re off!

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Before, during, and after the race, take the time to concentrate on individual runners.  They always love to see their pictures.  This is always my favorite part.

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The winner crossing the tape is a mandatory shot.  This was a fun run, so we didn’t have a tape, and the finish line was around a corner, so I concentrated on the runners as they neared the finish.

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For more information about St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, go to http://www.saintmaryshome.org/.  Their donation page is at https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=db0cfd.

Throughout these photos, you’ll see Team Hoyt Virginia Beach folks.  They are another good group with a mission to bring awareness that the disabled can be integrated into the most challenging able bodied activities. They donated $10,000 to St. Mary’s cause. You can find out more about them at http://www.teamhoytvb.com/.  They are still setting up their website, but they have contact information up.

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Have fun and give back to your community.  Go help a charity continue to do good things for those in our country with more life challenges than you.