Brumble, brumble, pop, brumble, pop, pop, brumble, whoosh, it sounded like medal against a grinding wheel, but felt more like a passing top-fuel dragster.
|Levy makes the turn at the top of the ramp.|
I thought of the bizarre sensation accompanying the covering of drag races, years ago, and the counter-intuitive mindset needed to figure out my timing for the image.
If you're not familiar with live drag racing, imagine standing next to the track, as the engines fire up. Imagine the air molecules around you begin vibrating at high speed against your skin, gaining in violent intensity as the car approaches. It's a bizarre sensation that forces you to reflexively and simultaneously turn away and duck as the car approaches.
In order to make photographs, I had to struggle against the base-level reflex to turn away as the car passed. Of course, if I turned away, I would miss the image.
Over the course of this shoot I developed a great deal of confidence in these young ladies I was photographing. I had already witnessed Mia's and Levy's skill as we created several options for the Raising Arizona Kids Magazine cover story. They flew through the air over five-step staircases and ground out a slide maneuver along a metal railings in this indoor skatepark.
They knew exactly what they were doing.
|Mia on the cover of RAK|
|Skate with your own personality|
On this recent Saturday this took the form of making sure the young ladies had the space and instruction to pursue a hobby that is not only just a lot of fun, but is a great confidence-building exercise as the skaters build their skills. A skate clinic for girls.
Surrounded by great moments, finding images was simple, getting to them safely, a little more daunting.
By the time we completed some of the options for the magazine cover, Mia, 9, and Levy, 10, demonstrated just how skilled they are as I photographed them sticking their landings like Olympic ski jumpers (ever see Eddie the Eagle?).
Impressed enough that when my art director Michelle and I wondered about me lying at the base of a tall ramp to shoot up at the skaters as they passed and made 180 degree turns above me, I thought it was worth considering for something a little different.
So we conferenced with the final authority on the matter, Mia and Levy, describing the idea and letting them decide whether they felt safe and comfortable with the plan.
"No problem," they said with confidence and in unison.
With a bit of lighting adjustment for the odd-ball angle, and a few trial skate passes, it was time to bring out the drag-race technique, no flinching.
(Raising Arizona Kids Magazine is a regular client that assembles one of the better magazines of its type in the country, telling great stories and discussing tools, events, trends and philosophies for parents to consider in their mission to raise great kids. Click for a subscription.)