I’ve been getting such WONDERFUL feedback from the Wireless Lighting Workshops I’ve been teaching. THANK YOU to everyone that has participated and made it such a success. I’ll be teaching my “Light Bending 411” course again on November 6th! I’ve been asked by The Aroostook F-Stops, an extremely active photography club in northern Maine, to come do a full-day program for them. The club’s fearless leader, Tom, has been so organized and fun to work with. His wife is a fellow alumni from The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK)…so we’ll have lots of catching up to do! Since Cami spent several summers in Maine and has many fond memories from this beautiful part of the country, we’ll be going up early and taking some much anticipated R&R. We’ll fly into Portland and wind our way up to Aroostook, hiking and sightseeing in places like Acadia National Park, and staying in quaint B&B’s along the way. I’m truly excited and look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with these wonderfully talented photographers in Maine!!!
I met Holly while shooting assignments for her at the Charleston Regional Business Journal. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her and Clint’s family for several years. Originally it was just their 4-legged kids, now they have a beautiful 2-legged one too. J We met at the historic Boone Hall Plantation just down the road from their house. The early morning light was just perfect and we had a great time roaming the grounds and stopping for different shots. At one point, when I had everyone set, including 2-dogs and a 1-year old girl, this huge (think grayhound) bus slowly wanders down the famous Avenue of Oaks that was my backdrop…and proceeded to stop right behind us to let it’s FULL contents of elderly tourists out behind us!!! How inconsiderate was that? They could have just as easily pulled up 15 feet closer to the mansion and been out of our shot! But that’s the fun of working in a public environment. We rolled with the punches, moved on to a new spot, and came back to that one after everyone had dispersed.
“As announced live at the US Open in New York, Charleston has WON the 2010 Best Tennis Town in America contest, ahead of second-place finisher Atlanta, GA and third-place finisher Richmond, VA. Along with the incredible the honor (and bragging rights), the lowcountry area will receive a $100,000 award to be used for tennis programming and facility enhancements.”
As an active player in the Charleston tennis community, and the official photographer of the Family Circle Cup professional WTA Tour tennis tournament, I’m excited to share this video with everyone. Look for me in the blue shirt (hint: I’m the one with all the camera gear!) at the 2:46 minute mark while photographing a player appearance during the Family Circle Cup several years ago!!! 🙂
Mike Saia, my “Boss” for the week at the Family Circle Cup when I photograph the professional tennis tournament there every spring, just sent me this note: “Check out the WTA home page: www.sonyericssonwtatour.com. Wait for the Flash to move to More News!” Turns out the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is using my image of Samantha Stosur, last year’s champion, on their main page. I love it!!!
It’s been over a week since the Family Circle Cup, and I’m FINALLY feeling fully recuperated. J This year’s tournament was a AWESOME.
Sam Stosur literally CRUSHED Vera Zvonareva to win her second (and biggest) WTA Tour Championship. She had an amazing 36 winners in the 6-0, 6-3 final that was the fastest in the history of the tournament! Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova were able to hold on to capture the Family Circle Cup doubles title, beating Vania King and Michaella Krajicek in straight sets. King & Krajicek were playing together for just their second tournament. Huber, the #1 doubles player in the world, normally plays with Cara Black. This was her first time playing with Petrova!
Aside from the great tournament action, there were tons of off-site player appearances and VIP parties to photograph. But most would agree that the Game, Set, Rock event with legends John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova was the big hit of the week!
Mike Saia, Communications Director of the FCC, did a great job keeping all the media organized. My former colleague, Doug Cunningham, retired last year. But it was nice to see him come back to assist on some of the VIP events. The super talented Alice Keeney took his place. She really stepped up to the plate, did a great job filling some big shoes, and was wonderful to work with. I’m already excited to see what NEXT YEAR has in store!!!
After the final ball was struck, the trophy was raised, the last interview was made, and Samantha Stosur was able to relax for a few minutes…a small group of five photographers was granted an exclusive photo shoot with the Champion on the roof of the Market Pavilion Hotel in downtown Charleston. We had a beautiful view of the city skyline. Since the sun was at her back, I used it as her hair light and set up an off-camera SB-800 to my left as the main light and another SB-800 behind her as a kicker or rim light. Both were fired by an on-camera SB-900 in Commander Mode using RadioPoppers to translate the signal. I used a Nikon D3 with 70-200 f2.8 for the shot. Sam was a pleasure to work with. I wish her all the best and hope she goes on to win many more titles!
Well, the Family Circle Cup is over! But what an AMAZING display of power and domination in the 52-minute final. Samantha Stosur completely dominated Vera Zvonareva and took the championship match into the record books as the fastest final in the history of the tournament! I think Vera’s an excellent player. But Sam was just “in the zone”.
“To be able to play that well in a final is a great feeling. You always hope you’ll do that, but to actually go and perform that way is very, very pleasing,” said Stosur, who has now beaten Zvonareva five straight times.
Another fact for the record books is that Sam is now the first Australian to ever win the title! Up until recently she’s been known as more of a doubles specialist. But she’s decided to concentrate more on singles and is doing quite well. This is her second singles title.
“The first title I won is always going to be very special. It took me a while to get that,” Stosur said. “This is bigger than Osaka though. To do it on clay and playing well all week is just a great feeling. You can’t really compare the two, but this is definitely a bigger event and I’m very pleased I was able to play so well.”
Even though the media world doesn’t pay as much attention to doubles as they do singles, I LOVE doubles. So I decided to cover the doubles final of Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova vs Vania King and Michaella Krajicek. Fortunately, somebody else thinks doubles is still an important part of the sport as well. Tennis Magazine used my photo of the four finalists in a nice article on their website. Click Here to check it out!
“Game, Set, Rock!” was a HUGE success this year at the Family Circle Cup. The match between John McEnroe and Jim Courier couldn’t have been any better. With John showing his deft touch and Jim showcasing that raw power, both champions obviously still “have it”! The match was tightly contested, ending with McEnroe prevailing in the third set tiebreaker. Following that, Anna Kournikova and Monica Seles joined the boys for some mixed doubles. At this point they all put on wireless mics and really had fun with it, making jokes and keeping the crowd entertained with their running commentary. It made for a late night, but I’m glad I got to stay and cover it from my premier seating on the court. J (More at www.chrisandcami.com/blog.)
Part of the big “Celebrating 10 Years in Charleston” promotion at the Family Circle Cup included special appearances by John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova. Before they went on court for the “Game, Set, Rock!” event, these four celebrities stopped by a VIP dinner party to say a few words, sign autographs, and allow guests to get portraits with the champions!
Here are a few shots from that event along with a photo showing my setup for it. Since I was basically rushing from photographing a tennis match to shoot this, then rushing back to cover “Game, Set, Rock!”, my portable wireless lighting setup was the best solution. I used a pair of 8-foot Bogen Manfrotto stackable lightstands, two SB-800 strobes, each powered by an SD-8a battery pack, and firing through my favorite Westcott 43” collapsible umbrellas. I used my D3 with 24-70 f2.8 and SB-900 attached. The SB-900 acted in commander mode only, with the remote strobes set manually to 1/8th power. The whole system was triggered by RadioPoppers and gave me a working aperture of f5.6 at 1/100th. It took my about 10 minutes to set up and do a test shot, and about 6 or 7 to tear down and get out the door when it was over!
On Semi-final Saturday at the Family Circle Cup, I got to be the exclusive photographer covering John McEnroe’s VIP clinic sponsored by Dunlop. As a tennis enthusiast, it was pretty exciting being able to just “hang out” with the legend! More at www.chrisandcami.com, www.familycirclecup.com, and www.wtatour.com.