I did a photojournalism project my junior year of high school and really didn’t care about quality. I took pictures with my phone, made a convincing story, and turned it in for the grade. It was of my sister’s semi-finals softball game, her team lost something like 12-9. Three years later, and I want to try it again, but this time giving it the attention it deserves. I have my own camera now and know how to use it. I photographed her all-star opening day this summer and gave all my pictures to the team’s families for free. It felt good to do that for them, since that season didn’t end on a particularly high note. At least they’d have good moments captured to remind them they were still a solid team of all-star players that would make it far if they stuck with it. My sister’s second-to-last season started a few weeks ago, after spring she’ll be in high school and hopefully playing for her school’s title. A real, metal trophy. But it won’t be just for fun anymore. Come high school, the wins and losses carry more weight, people are watching, important people, and a population of highly influential peers will know by the end of the game how she did and if she cost them the win.
I want to photograph one of her last Fall Ball games to remind her that no matter what happens come next year, she plays this sport because she loves to get down in the dirt as a catcher and slide like a rock star across the grass in the outfield to make a dramatic catch that ends a brutal inning. That it isn’t about snagging a scholarship just yet, that she’s on a team to rely on that team and have fun with that team. And, that one day, when she trail-blazes her way to the first professional women’s softball league, she’ll remember where she came from all those years ago.