Recap: North Central CrossFit Regionals
This past weekend I had the opportunity to photograph North Central CrossFit Regionals for PurePharma. It was such an amazing event and being selected to be a part of their team was a wonderful experience.
There are a few things, however, that I learned by watching and witnessing the people around me that I thought I would give you a little insight on.
First, CrossFit made a HUGE change to camera policies at the event. Basically, anyone who was not authorized press is now limited to a specific size lens for the event. It caused a lot of frustration by attendees. I get their anger, I do. But I also get the reasoning behind it. CrossFit and sponsor/vendor companies pay big fees to be part of the event and as such only certain people are granted rights to TAKE the picture. It comes down to limiting distribution of pictures that are, to stay the least, less than stellar quality. Even at an event like this professional photographers are going to have to make adjustments to get the right light into their camera and that compromises quality. Now, don't get me wrong, if CrossFit were to change back the policy I would understand that too. I see the benefit for both sides. And since this is the current policy, it needs to be abided by.
Second, people don't understand the work that is goes into capturing a great shot. It takes timing, understanding, passion and knowledge to get shots that "speak" from a sporting event. I encountered a few "you're in may way" comments as I was trying to shoot. I tried to be as polite as possible but sometimes, especially in a fast moving event, that is impossible because my only focus is on fulfilling my obligation as a photographer. I thought maybe it was just me because I was a sponsor photographer, but then in speaking to the CrossFit photographers they heard the same thing! I get you're there to support your athlete and watch the event, but we have a job to do. And we need to do it to the best of our ability. Be mindful of that if you attend an event. If you aren't paid to be there, you don't have the right to dictate that someone needs to move out of your way.
Third, I would love having a team from my gym there to support. But if so, I wouldn't try to indicate that just because I am part of a box that has a team that I have a right side step the rules. If you got caught with a long lens, I'm sorry. The rule is in place for a reason and you need to follow it. There isn't any one athlete who is more important than the other. They all made it by their hard work, dedication and drive. And just because you have a box that might have more athletes in attendance doesn't give you the right to think you are more important than you are. The best kind of support you can give is to obey the rules and show respect. It's that simple. And by the way, if you want some advice on how to use that kit 55-200/5.6 lens that falls in the rule so you can still get some great shots, let me know. I'd be happy to help you out!
Finally, I have had many people ask for photos. And since I tend to be a rule follower, I can't give them to you unless I have permission to. Any photographers at this event were required to submit their photos to the company who issued their press pass. If they elect to, the company can release them, but then the CrossFit rule comes into place. Don't skirt the rules. You'll make it even more difficult for companies to issue passes in the future. If I post images that I took at Regionals it is only because PurePharma has already posted them and my contract allows me to use them only after my credential issuing company has used them publicly.
Spectators, attendees, visitors and guests may not distribute, use, reproduce, stream, upload, transmit, broadcast, link, exploit or license any description, account, images, pictures, film, digital, video or audio recording for any commercial purpose without the prior express written consent of CrossFit Inc., in each instance.
I wouldn't change a thing about my work this weekend. I loved doing it. I loved being part of such a wonderful, well run event. I understand the rules and the reasons behind it. I am sure if you were bothered by it, if you took the time to think about something happening in your workplace to mirror the situation, you would come to understand it to.
"One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say" Bryant McGill