I have a problem. It’s a problem that took staying up until 1:30 am last night for me to begin to grasp it. No, it’s not procrastination (though I struggle with that too). It’s a dangerous blend of perfectionism and competitiveness.
When I took a camera to a quidditch tournament for the first time last fall, it was because I wanted to contribute without playing or being in charge of anything. I wanted to have some fun with it and make sure that my friends got some cool pictures in the process.
A little over three months later, I’ve made it unfun for myself. Something I picked up because I needed a hobby turned into work because I decided that I needed to be a “great quidditch photographer,” whatever that means. Okay, I know exactly what that means: being good enough to get a press pass for US Quidditch Cup 10.
This was a ridiculous goal to set for myself. Who tells themselves they need to master a skill that takes years in only a few short months? (Me. The answer is me.) It’s not enough that I have fun doing something: I have to be the best at it. Or, if I can’t be, I have to be the best at a certain niche of it. (Like, say, being the oldest woman to play at nationals.)
I mentally beat myself up when I uploaded both sets of regional championship photos. What was I thinking, I was a fraud, I must be terrible at this if I took over a thousand photos but only managed to salvage about ten percent of them.
But what pulls my head out of my ass every time is seeing how happy people are when they see photos of themselves and their friends. I’m never going to be a starter and I don’t see as much time on the pitch as I used to, so I know what it’s like to desperately hope a photographer got a shot of you. I try to get the cool shots like dunks and snitch grabs because those are fun, but also I try my best to not just follow quaffle and snitch play and capture some of the less obvious moments and players. I don’t always succeed, but when I do, it makes me happier than seeing my photos get picked up quidditch media outlets.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite photos from this year’s West and Northwest Regional Championships. They may not be the most technically sound or perfectly edited, but I really like them and I’m glad I had my camera pointed at this moments. I really want to keep doing this after I hang up my cleats (whenever that may be). I just have to remember why I’m doing this: for fun and for my friends.
You can also check out all my event photos, in higher quality than WordPress seems to be capable of on a Monday morning, here: