I cannot agree more with Drew. When I cover a wrestling match it not only ranks as one of the smelliest sports and can get a bit awkward at times, but the thought of getting ringworm from lying on the mats definitely runs through my mind the entire time.
With that said and out of the way, and I must note that even the 100-pound kids could kick my ass, that this year has been the first I've ever covered wrestling, let along this many matches. And without a doubt, it has become one of my top sports to shoot.
My reasoning, which I've probably mentioned, is the pure fact that there is so much emotion in the wrestler’s faces. It doesn't matter if they are 100-pounds or 300-pounds, it's all relative - it's all real.
Last weekend I found myself again ringside, this time for a tournament which sort of threw me into a spin.
My biggest gripe with shooting wrestling is figuring out who is wrestling whom. It's not as straight forward as shooting say a basketball game where players have an individual number that links up with the roster for captioning.
With wrestling, there sometimes is a predetermined match list, but once someone drops out of a match everything gets screwed up.
You can shoot the book where wrestlers sign in, but most of the time the little sophomores running and keeping stats only get their last name and don't have the best handwriting.
While I've created a nice system to keep me less stressed worrying about who is wrestling when and who, last weekend I almost had a panic attack.
It was my entire fault because I showed up early and was running around like a chicken with its head cutoff trying to photograph three different rings and then attempting to get the weight and names of the wrestlers off a chart with only numbers. I was so confused.
I frantically started asking kids and parents for help, but then things calmed down when they set up for the finals (that I was suppose to shoot) with first and second place contenders in the middle ring. In addition, they had a printed sheet that I could photograph that included all the information I needed.
Things went well and they had some exciting matches. This is my favorite frame, although it didn't run. My frame that ran was very story telling of a three-time champion getting upset, and in my frame, slammed to the ground.
While I may not have ringworm, yet, I will probably be shooting more wrestling as the season comes to a close, and more and more county and state matches persist. Until then, I will be scrubbing down my arms after the matches. Where is the bleach?