A Humbling Experience

This month I was contacted by Special Olympics Oregon, here in Portland. They asked me if I would be interested in volunteering to take some pictures of some athletes. At first, I was a little hesitant because I have never considered myself a sports photographer. Coincidentally, I had just recently purchased a new camera lens for an upcoming photography workshop that I will be attending in eastern Washington. It suddenly dawned on me that this would be a great opportunity to not only sharpen my skills with using this new lens, but also allow me to give back to my local community in a positive way.

As I arrived at the sports field at Parkrose High School, I was starting to get butterflies in my stomach. Not only had I never photographed a sporting event before, but I had also never had the opportunity to work closely with special needs kids and adults.

I introduced myself to the local coordinator, and he made me feel very comfortable. He basically gave me free reign to walk around and photograph pretty much anything that I saw. In a very short period of time, it all of a sudden felt like I had been doing this all my life.

Coming from a real estate and portrait photography background, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After watching these kids and adults playing in their sport with huge smiles on their face, I quickly forgot about the technical aspects of photography and suddenly found myself quite humbled to be working so closely with these folks.

I submitted my photos to the local coordinator and she was really happy with my work. So much so that she asked me if I would like to be added to the permanent volunteer list for future assignments. I did not have to think twice before saying yes.

I’m looking forward to my newfound relationship with Special Olympics Oregon and hope that I can make great photos for them for years to come.




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