We all were knocked back on our heels a year ago when life as we knew it literally halted. Schools were closed, we received stay at home orders, high school graduation ceremonies were cancelled, sports activities for our kids ceased with no warning. Sports team photographs were cancelled, not even leaving young athletes with a tangible memory of their accomplishments.
To say it was heartbreaking is putting it mildly. As a parent of sports minded kids, I know how important being part of a team is for them. They thrive on working to accomplish a goal, connecting with their team mates and creating a sports family. Sports, especially hockey – there’s so much more to it than scoring a goal, it’s about life lessons that are created on the ice and in the dressing room.
For many young athletes, their last year of minor league sports fell in 2020 or 2021. They may have been at the top of league, poised to take home the wins. Maybe they were simply happy playing alongside their friends, getting exercise and having a good time. For all, something integral in their lives was lost.
Coming up with a safe way for young athletes to have sports team photographs during covid was a challenge.
While some restrictions have lifted and teams can practice as cohorts, there are limits as to how we can photograph them.
For instance, no indoor on-ice photos are allowed and team photos are not possible. Most outdoor ice surfaces are closed, so special permissions are required to use them.
The Ardrossan Recreation centre allowed the Strathcona Warriors third year players to have sports team photographs at the outdoor rink. We were restricted to one player and one photographer on the ice at a time.
What this means is pre-planning, scheduling, and safety measures in place. At all times, there was at least 10 feet between me and the players and the team Manager, who was in place to supervise. The team for Carla Lehman Photography also wore masks to ensure that we adhered to safety protocols mandated by the provincial government and PPOC, our professional association.
We also had to be creative in posing, as the surface of the ice was not safe for skates. Players wore everything from cowboy boots to slippers (really) so using creating posing methods were necessary.
The sun goes down quickly in Alberta during early spring, so we also had to contend with changing lighting conditions.
While the guys didn’t get to play hockey together, it is clear to see the bond of friendship between them. While we made the images together, I was able to see how much they enjoy each other and how close they are.
This is what being teammates is all about. While there is no hockey , there is friendship.
I am an Alberta Sports Photographer who helps athletes and sports teams create memories to commemorate their achievements. To book your session, or for more information, find me here.
You can book me for graduation sessions too, check out this session in Banff.
Serving central Alberta, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Camrose, Tofield and the Alberta Rockies.
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My philosophy is simple. I take beautiful photos and tell your unique story. The moments that you'll want to cherish forever, your legacy. The ones that you'll frame in your home for years to come.