All Images, reflections, memories and fabrications ©2011 Tony Hernandez Photography

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The last hurrah for pom pom girls .... and football photographs

Being a photographer in high school was great. I was amazed at how much freedom we were given to photograph events on and off campus. I once got out of class to photograph the entire marching band parading through the AV department. I think it was someone in the departments birthday. Middle of the day, pulled out of class, it was great. Field trips with the Homecoming kings, queens and attendants for the honors section. Out to the field for the All State football players photo. Clubs, groups, student government, everything and anything. Now I understood how Bob, the guy with the black hat, was able to cross over the "clique lines" so easily. When you have a camera in your hands, it's amazing how welcoming people of all types can be. Our high school even went to the state championship  football game in my senior year. The game was to be held at the stadium of Arizona State University. It was the biggest thing the school had accomplished in it's few short years in existence so "access to the field" was crucial. We found out on Monday following the semi-final game, there would only be "one press pass" allotted to the yearbook photographers and, one pass for the newspaper guys. Needless to say, the lobbying for the pass started immediately. All of the "seasoned" photographers hit up Mrs. D during the course of the day. All of them except me. I figured I would let her decide who "deserved" the pass by looking at the work done during the season. The layouts for the football section were filled with photographs I had taken. One of the other guys, we'll call him "Bruce", wanted the pass really bad. He was a first year guy who considered himself in high regard when it came to photography. In all honesty, he was a decent shooter but, his attitude and willingness to suck up to the advisor were a bit off putting to the rest of us on the photography staff. But hey, who am I to stop someone from trying to get ahead, right? The week before the game went by slowly. Anticipation for the game was at an all time high throughout the school. But in the yearbook room, it seemed even higher. Mrs. D, our lovable yet super strict boss had not made a decision regarding the pass for "the big game". I saw Bruce butt smooching his head off all week. Every time I looked in the general direction of Mrs. D's desk, there he was. It was sickening, but I had to give him credit, he was going all out. Friday finally came with no word on who was getting the pass. The school day was almost over. The crew was wrapping up the days work in preparation for the weekend and "the big game". I was sitting in the room outside the darkroom looking at contact sheets when Mrs. D came up to me. She sat down and began to quietly talk to me. After a short discussion, she handed me the pass and told me to keep it on a low profile. "No problem" I said. Right after she left the room, I went back into the darkroom to secretly celebrate. When I came out, there was Bruce. He didn't look very happy. I guess he had heard form Mrs. D too. I looked at him, smiled, and left the room. On the field that night, I saw Bruce in the stands. I guess he figured out who ended up with the pass. He did somehow get on the field in the forth quarter with his camera. I guess his butt smooching paid off in the end.

But by that time, the important parts of the game had already happened.

The only thing left for me to photograph in my final football game were the pom pom girls.