Now I know what you're thinking, "Devon, I thought you were the 'PORTRAIT Specialist', not the 'Event Specialist'.". Well Professionally, My specialty is Portraiture. I seldomly venture into anything that isn't just straight portraits. I've turned down some well paying gigs just because they weren't my niche. Truth is that I don't want to have a client pay me for something that isn't my specialty. Its the same reason I wouldn't ask an exterminator to fix my car. But occasionally I do like to volunteer my time and talent for my community, no matter the type of photography it is. I just want to help.
Not too long after covering the Fontana Car Show, I was called to cover a much larger event. Probably the largest I would ever cover. The 59th Annual Fontana Days Run. I had been asked to take care of the Finish line Photography. Thats capturing a photo of all 2000+ participants as they run through the finish line.
If you haven't guessed, Thats a pretty big task. And I've really never taken on any job with such large responsibility and at the same time, large margin for error. But, I don't accept any job if I don't feel completely adequate in achieving. So I accepted.
The most nerve-racking part of this job is that I really had little idea as to what to expect. I've never run a marathon before, nor have I ever seen one run. So Like any smart person would do, I prpared for anything. Grabbed a lens with plenty of focal range, plenty of cards, batteries and 3 of my friends (one, a trusted photog buddy, 2 as backup and promotional assistants). My second photog used a lens with greater focal length than mine. That way he can grab shots of runners further away as I catch them up front.
After an hour of waiting, the first few runners came through and I admit, it was way more than I expected. My second phtog and I were overwhelmed. We were under the impression that We'd actually have lots of downtime with 2-3 runners coming in every 20 seconds or so. That was definitely not the case. Instead we found ourselves not even having the chance to put our cameras down for a second. 30 minutes in and I was begging for a break. Our arms were killing us. Mean while, my two promotion assitants were in the crowd, literally slowly spinning in place to act as billboards, showing everyone my business information.
When it all came to an end, I was relieved that everything went so smoothly. It was difficult, but I know we did an awesome job. 2 weeks pass and I hear from the event holder that everything went great. She told me that theres only been one complaint (someone couldn't find the photos), which is way better than the past few photographers that they've gotten to do this job. So kudos to me! :D
Left to Right: Michael Rams (2nd Photog), Devon VP (me), Jean L. (Promo Ass.), Carlos P. (Promo Ass.)
If you are a runner from this event. Check out the finish line photos here: