Nothing like kicking off the year with KU’s soccer team. Summer time is over! Sure, there still might be a month and a half of official summer left on the calendar. But, for me, this is now mug shot season. On Thursday, the first of the fall sport teams reported at KU. My year is never broken into the usual four seasons – fall, winter, spring and summer.
My year begins in August with major media guide work for all sports with the exception of football and women’s basketball. The football guide work is done in late spring and early summer. Women’s basketball’s work is done in early summer. The rest roll in like waves for the next two months.
What that means is the studio strobes are popping at an alarming and blinding rate. With close to 500 student-athletes reporting, new staff mugs, coaches, managers, trainers, doctors, strength staff, academic advisors and cruise directors needing mugs, time in the studio consumes most afternoons for the coming weeks. There are all the media guide covers, new facilities, strength room work for each sport, academic counseling and so many more photographs yet to be taken.
Then there is production. This is the hidden, forgotten and sometime ugly secret of any professional photo job. The photos need to be completely color corrected, contrast adjusted, areas burned or dodged, zits cleaned up, a few age lines removed from senior staff and all the tagging and keywords needed to make the photos upload and work on our photo server. For every hour of shooting, there is at least another hour of production that goes with the job. Don’t forget that there are always media relations staff and coaches that need the photos NOW to meet deadlines.
That means many late nights. As hands rolled around to 1 a.m. on the old clock this morning, I dragged myself up from my basement office for some sleep. There’s more soccer and all the volleyball media guide work awaiting me later today along with another long night.
The Stephan Stills song that kicks off this post goes like this. “And so begins the task I have dreaded the coming of for so long. I wait for the sun to remind my body it needs restin’.”
Funny thing is, I don’t dread any of this. I was incredibly energized yesterday. The adrenaline reservoir has been refilled. Being around young people all the time has kept me young in heart and mind. Sure, I’ll get tired and beaten down as these months roll along, but I still wouldn’t trade what I do for anything other than the winning lottery ticket numbers.
Got to go, now. I need a nap before work.