I was hired by Toyota to attend and capture images from the Special Olympics World Games in LA. I was extremely excited about this opportunity as the world games only happen every four years. Toyota wanted images of the USA athletes competing as well as celebrations. The biggest highlight was probably attending the opening ceremony at the LA Coliseum. It was an unbelievable experience being at the ceremony. Seeing all the countries walk onto the red carpet and everyone cheering them on was awesome. I walked all around the stadium and the field capturing the fans, athletes, and performers. The ceremony ended with a great fireworks show.
The first day of competition was Sunday and there were events all around Los Angeles. I first went to USC where the track, swimming, and basketball event were hold. At all these venues, I tried to find different angles to shoot from and really find the right light. I had a great time playing with shadows of the runners. I won a little photo contest a few weeks back and got a free rental from Borrow Lenses. So I rented a super telephoto lens to use at the games which allowed be to capture the action much tighter. I had a great time experimenting with this lens and I cant wait to use it again. Throughout the competition, I was able to shoot some unique sports including table tennis, handball, and bocce. It was really fun capturing these events, but also very challenging as it was my first time at these events.
These games were an absolute honor to be at. The athletes were so inspiring and celebrated when they finished, and did not care about winning. The fans were great and cheered on the athletes at every event. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget and I really hope I can capture the special olympics at the next world games. Huge thanks to Toyota for the opportunity! To learn more about the special olympics and what they do, check out their site: http://www.specialolympics.org/mission.aspx
Below are some of my favorite images from the games.