Commack High School Varsity Football vs. Brentwood - Homecoming
Beautiful day for homecoming. A bit warm for the football players and marching band but the weather was definitely a factor in a great turnout that filled the stands. The Commack football team didn't disappoint them, with a 25-6 win.
Always lots of stuff going on for homecoming and it makes for a long day. Lots of photographs to take in addition to the game. If you find yourself covering something like this here are a few tips.
First, bring water. I always show up at any game with a bottle or two of water. At big events like homecoming they usually sell water but you never know when they might run out so best to bring your own. The last thing they need is you passing out on the field. Speaking of passing out, bring a hat and sunscreen. After five hours out in the sun you'll be glad you did.
Next, bring extra camera batteries and extra memory cards. You'll end up shooting a lot of photos. I shot over 1600 during the course of the day. At Commack we have individual shots of senior Cougarettes and their moms and of each of the football players running through the tunnel. Then there are group shots of all the seniors. Plus, you have the parade, the alumni awards, the game and the halftime show. Bring a normal zoom or kit lens for the portraits; an extra body to mount it on would be nice too, if you have it. That saves precious time and eliminates the strong probability, in my case at least, of dropping a lens.
For all these photos, especially the individual and group photos, you want to try to get the cleanest background possible but, since there's a lot going on, that's not usually possible so just try your best. Scope out a potentially clean background prior to the event and try to wrangle the folks in place. Be prepared to shoot quickly; there are a lot of events on the schedule and they can't slow down for you to figure out your exposure settings; take some test shots before each event.
Don't forget to take some shots of the crowd and the stands, especially if they're full. This will probably be one of the few events where you'll have packed stands to shoot so make the most of it.
Finally, there will be other photographers on the field. Media usually covers our event, not to mention yearbook photographers and, occasionally, TV. Everyone has a job to do so try to stay out of their way and share the field so everyone has a chance at getting some good shots. Be especially careful of video cables; tripping over one could ruin lots of peoples' day. Pace yourself and try to find a place to relax during the last part of halftime; you're going to be on your feet a lot.