Why I Love Photographing Gymnastics

During my second year of college, I took a photography class that gave me the opportunity to photograph at a PSU football game, and a PSU hockey game. These were some of the best experiences I've had thus far. Once the class was coming to an end, we were given the tools and knowledge to gain access to photograph other sports at Penn State. Because of this class, I was able to be down on the floor taking pictures during a Penn State gymnastics meet, and I loved every minute of it.

This experience was drastically different from taking photos at a football or hockey game. During football, it was a tad stressful, and I was constantly running all around the field trying to find the best shots. With hockey, my knees were in a load of pain from kneeling in the same position throughout the entirety of the game. With gymnastics though, I was able to freely walk around, camp out wherever was best for me at that moment, and have a stress free environment. It was hands-down the best sports environment for my personal taste I have photographed in. All of the staff and other photographers I talked to were incredibly nice and helpful as well. Having great people around makes the experience that much better too.

As much fun as football and hockey were, gymnastics will always top it for me. Being a gymnast for most of my life, having a way to combine my love of the sport and photography is ideal. I'm not going to be able to do gymnastics for a whole lot longer, so knowing I have a way to stay apart of the sport is comforting. Additionally, it can be hard for some photographers at gymnastics meets to capture the best possible pictures if they've never done gymnastics before. Growing up, I never liked my gymnastics photos much because to me in my brain, they were taken at horrible moments in my routine, rather than during the cool parts. I can positively contribute to photography for this sport because I know the best parts of a skill or a routine to take pictures. I want to be able to provide photos for gymnastics that I had hoped for growing up.