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What T-ball has to do with a photography business

Updated: May 18, 2022

Like a lot of experiences in sports, things began with T-ball.

Believe it or not, I loved coaching T-ball. The joy of discovery on a child’s face the first time they connect a bat to a ball or a grounder ends up snug inside the webbing of a glove? As a parent and coach, it doesn’t get better than that (as well as the unintended comedy that is T-ball – kids running to the wrong base, kids dancing in the outfield to help the time go by, flipping water bottles while sitting on the bench).

Never did I think it would lead to starting a sports portrait photography business.

Boy baseball player with sunglasses from Mountville
Liam | Baseball | Mountville

The morning of team pictures was damp, the dew on the grass soaking through our shoes, the sun rising bright through a little fog lingering around the field. We stood in line waiting our turn, kids getting restless, other parents wanting to get team pics over with so they could get on with their weekend plans.

I started to notice something. The four or five photographers from the photography company our youth athletic association hired, they were nice people, hard working. But, if I had to guess, they might not have loved the job so much.

What’s more is it showed in the resulting photos. What we received, what we paid for, were photos using the same worn out poses, the same tired techniques, the same ol’ boring team photos that I received when I was a kid.

Did parents have to settle for mediocrity? Do our children? Or could someone bring the same dynamic skillset it takes to be a high performing wedding or senior portrait photographer and use those skills to create better youth sports portraits?

That’s when the idea for Creative Sports Photography ignited.

High school girl lacrosse player
Lauren Dague | Lacrosse | Hempfield

By that day, I’d worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for several years, been trained in lighting techniques, owned studio equipment, and was seeking a place to channel all that creativity and skillset in a way that provided a high performance service to other families.

After that day, I started traveling to soccer fields and baseball fields and lacrosse fields, carrying studio lights and soft boxes, working with families with elementary-age children on through to college-bound high schoolers. The experience showed just how photography can empower an aspiring, hopeful child or teenager, to see themselves in a way they’ve never seen themselves before, as if they never before believed they could have their own professional sports photographer. Now they did.

Boy baseball player from Manheim Township
Bek Heller | Baseball | Manheim Township

For me, it tapped into a spring of joy I’d never previously known. The challenge of taking an open field or an indoor court, to see it with all the photography training I’ve had, to solve the puzzle that is creative lighting, and to make it happen for the athletes you see on this page, it’s uplifting.

The athletes you see here come from the same neighborhoods as you. They aren’t hired models. They’re your friends, neighbors, teammates. They go to the same schools, play on the same teams.

That’s the story of Creative Sports Photography. It began with T-ball. The experiences we’re creating together are unforgettable, they’re fun, and they’re lasting.

To sign up for a Creative Sports Photography portrait session, please fill out the form below.


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