This photo (of Sky View’s Natalie Harris in the championship game) reminded me of a time about ten years ago when we had a rash of complaints over our coverage of high school girls basketball. The complaint could be boiled down to this: all of our photos of girls playing basketball showed the girls on the floor scrambling for a ball that had slipped out of their hands, making them appear clumsy and not very athletic.
We pulled up every basketball photo we’d taken that month, from the NBA to the pee-wee’s, and found that the complaint was NOT accurate as far as girls basketball was concerned. What we did notice was that nearly all of the NBA photos we were running were of the same out-of-control moments the readers were complaining about. Guys fumbling the ball, looking stupid, grimacing as they collided with one another. Regardless of the talent on the court, we had produced a gallery of NBA dunces.
I once shot a girls high school basketball game, sitting next to a photographer from another newspaper. After the first quarter of the game this guy started packing up to leave. When I gave him a little grief he said, “This is girls basketball. Nobody cares! It’s going to be a small photo on an inside page, so why bother? I’m out of here.”
I stayed the whole game. At halftime I noticed this table covered with junk food. Muffins, Red-Vines. The team mom wouldn’t let me anywhere near it. It was for players only. Layton won the game. A girl had McFly written on her shoes. I got a great shot.
I once worked with a sports editor at another paper who hated to see empty seats in the backgrounds of photos. That’s the main problem he’d see with this one: