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For several years now, I’ve photographed All-Area high school athletes of the year for work. It’s usually a collaborative project between photographers and sports writers where we brainstorm a theme/idea/concept and illustrate it through portraits of athletes picked as the best in the region. Last year we had a “red carpet” theme that we all worked together on and was really fun to shoot. This year I had the idea of taking the athletes to one of my favorite shooting spots – the hot pools at Lava Hot Springs at night.

I’ve always really dug the whole atmosphere there in the evening – the orange-ish vapor lights, the steam pouring off the warm water in the frigid air, and just the general surreal feeling of the place. I wanted the photographs to have a kind of intensity to them, and I really wanted to emphasize the warm-toned lighting. After a trial run and a few ideas, we dropped the kids in and started shooting. I wanted to keep it pretty simple, one lens, one light, and just a few minutes with each athlete. My photo editor Doug helped out big time, throwing out ideas and directing the light right where it needed to be. There are a few things I would have done differently in hindsight, but overall, I’m pleased with how these turned out.

After surprising the family with a trip home for the holidays, I’m finally getting back in gear. Check back in the next few days for my photos of the month and year, as well as a selection of photos from my trip.

One thought on “All-Area”

  1. Julia Moore says:

    Joe! These photos are incredible! The hot springs were an awesome idea. You have such a great eye!

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