Labor of love
Labor of love - covering what you truly enjoy.
There are some photographers who would endure almost anything rather than cover a tennis match…..let alone a two-week tournament. Fortunately for me, I had always dreamed of covering professional tennis and for the past 18 years my wish has come true a few times each year when I am sent to cover Wimbledon, the U.S. Open or other tennis events for Reuters.
I play a lot of tennis (mildly obsessed would be more accurate) and my circle of tennis friends are green with envy that I am sent to “work” at these events. My tennis partners would kill for a seat in the courtside photographers pit where I spend a great deal of time. What they don’t realize is that covering a match is not quite the same as watching it while sipping a cold beer or enjoying a dish of strawberries and cream. Paying close attention to the flow of the match is crucial to getting the right images. The reality is that you are watching the match through a lens trained on only one player at a time. You are not actually seeing the back and forth of the game like the folks in the audience. In addition, you must spend a lot of time lugging your big lenses around the stadium to get different angles and different moods as the light changes throughout the day. Ah yes, and then there are the rain delays. Work, yes, but……
Through the years I have documented some of the great moments in the modern game. From McEnroe‘s famous tirades, Jimmy Connors’ late career surge, the Navratilova vs. Graf rivalry, the reign of Sampras, Agassi’s tearful retirement and Federer‘s attempt to be the greatest of all time. I’ve also met some great people in my travels and had a lot of laughs with colleagues along the way. Covering what you truly enjoy certainly blurs the lines of work and play. And yes, it also makes a nice break from my usual beat at the White House!
Top picture:Fabrice Santoro of France sits with an ice bag on his head during a changeover during his match against James Blake of the U.S at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, August 30, 2007. Kevin Lamarque
2: A ball boy holds tennis balls during a match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, August 29, 2007. Kevin Lamarque
3: Nadia Petrova of Russia serves to Agnes Szavay of Hungary at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, September 1, 2007. Kevin Lamarque
4 and 5: Roger Federer of Switzerland leaps to make a return to Nikolay Davydenko of Russia during their semi-final match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, September 8, 2007. Kevin Lamarque