The beauty of what we do as visual journalists is that sometimes we are given free-range to go out and find something that interests us and photograph it.
I wanted to photograph something that was winter related. My co-worker, Gabor, suggested checking out the Belfast Curling Club, Maine’s only curling club.
I sent an email to the club to see when a good time for a visit would be. Steve McLaughlin answered pretty much immediately and we set up a time to meet later that week.
Being from Ohio, I’ve never seen curling in the flesh, only occasionally on tv during the Winter Olympics. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. The basics of the game I knew, but I wasn’t sure about where I would be able to shoot from.
Originally, I thought the sheets (the ice section the game is played on) would be spaced further apart from one another allowing me to photograph in between the sections.
The sheets at the Belfast Curling Club were touching each other. In essence, it was one sheet of ice with three different playing fields drawn on it. The fact that the sheets were so close together, and that I didn’t have a pair of shoes to go on the ice with, meant I was stuck shooting from the carpeted deck or the observation “warm room” upstairs.
But this is why I love this job, it keeps you on your toes. It makes you throw out your original idea of how you were going to document something and adjust on the fly.
That’s what I did.
Do I wish I was able to get on the ice and shoot from there? Of course I do. But sometimes the challenges are good, and they make you push yourself a little bit more than you would have normally.