Picture This: Dancing Girls

As a photographer, it can be easy to lose sight of motivation when one finds him or herself covering the same event four of five nights a week for months on end.

It’s basketball season and with all the local high schools and Northern Illinois University, there’s a game just about every night, games I have to cover as the night photographer.

I usually ask myself, “How can I cover this game differently than the last one? How will I cover the next 40 games differently than the past 40 games?”

The biggest thing to remember is to shoot photos for myself – not just for my portfolio, but to remind myself that there are moments happening everywhere simultaneously, each one telling its own story.

I covered the NIU men’s basketball game against Ohio University on Jan. 18 in DeKalb and made a point to stick around for halftime specifically to photograph something other than basketball.

A large group of youngsters ages 3 through 18 filled the court with their colorful dance costumes and performed a group routine.

I admittedly watched the performance more than I photographed it, because I had a hunch the photos would never see the light of day. It’s no Pulitzer Prize, but it’s a refreshing sight compared to big, sweaty men rushing toward me dribbling a basketball.

I’d love to be able to photograph more situations like this at basketball games, but sometimes deadline, location and time of the game don’t allow for much else.

This photo column is a piece of motivation for me to keep doing what I love despite the sometimes mundane world of feeding the beast.