RED TEE PROJECT a pHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT FROM THE MIND OF mAYOR D

The biggest part of my last 8-10 years has been photographing Sequoyah High School sporting events. I've shot almost everything they offer to a student to participate in; golf, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, football. The last 3 years I've done several individual photo sessions with kids in most of these and other sports as well.

This school year the school has initiated a new rule saying that none of these athletes can be photographed in their school uniforms outside of school activities. I've had two separate photo sessions canceled by Sequoyah athletes, one quite recently, because of this rule. So I decided I would do something a bit different. I wanted to do a photo project from as many of these sports as possible with Sequoyah athletes where they weren't in their uniforms but instead in a plain red tee shirt.

The reasons for doing so are 1, even if they don't have their uniforms we can still get really cool pictures. And 2, regardless of what they're wearing, I'm way more concerned and care about the kids in the uniforms than the uniforms they are wearing.

So I asked for a couple of volunteers from each sport: football, basketball (girls and boys), cheerleading, soccer, volleyball, baseball, and softball. When I posted to Facebook about this I really just expected a couple of kids per sport. Turns out I ended up with approximately 45 kids that volunteered in those sports and 1 for tennis as well. Not only did I get volunteers to be in the photos but I got other photographers and parents ask to help out with posing, assisting, handing out shirts, and adding creative ideas. It became a collaboration instead of just my project and in turn made the project a whole lot more fun and successful.

Here are the results from the days work. We took a group shot of each sport and then singles of each athlete. Some of the kids participate in multiple sports so we only took one single of each of them just in whatever sport they wanted it in:

SQHS SOCCER
LADY CHIEFS BASKETBALL
CHIEFS BASKETBALL
SQHS CHEERLEADERS
CHIEFS FOOTBALL

TENNIS

CHIEF BASEBALL
LADY CHIEF SOFTBALL
LADY CHIEF VOLLEYBALL

Sequoyah athletics aren't even remotely possible without the support of Granny Terry Sparks. Nobody but their parents loves these kids the way she does. Terry is absolute gem and the entire Sequoyah community is so lucky to have her. She had some picture requests at the end of the day and there was no way I was saying no

All in all there were 35 kids show up and take part in the shoot with a few that signed up not being able to attend. Still it was a lot more than I thought I'd get and just made the project all worth it.

The day would have been a lot longer and less fun without the help of people like Missy Roberts (handed out shirts and chased down an extension chord for me), Brandy Gentry (she brought the smoke machine and extra light stands and assisted in every photograph with ideas and arrangement of kids), Telia Dupes (she also assisted with every photograph, ideas, arrangement of kids, and making sure every hair was in place), and Becky Duncil (arrangement of kids and organization as well as creative ideas), and Danielle Proulx who recorded the entire day on video for us providing proof of the fun and work we put in. Here is a link to the youtube video: https://youtu.be/lHIA0XagCd4

I can't thank these people, the kids, and their parents for letting them take the time on a Sunday afternoon to support this project. These kids are near and dear to me and photography has awarded me with the opportunity to meet and interact with them and there's nothing more rewarding than that.

Credits:

Brandy Gentry Telia Dupes Becky Duncil Missy Roberts Granny Terry Sparks

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