Our Sports Editor jokes that Larry and I are like bottom feeding sea creatures and that we “feed off the tears and heartache of athletes”.
Well at least I hope that he’s joking, because I can guarantee you we do not like to see people cry, nor do we like to be the ones snapping away documenting their misery. It is much more fun and easier to shoot happy athletes screaming and jumping around than the tears streaming down the face of someone who’s state championship dreams have been dashed.
Yet whenever the end of a high school sports season winds down, we inevitably end up with those “agony of defeat” images. And there are times, when angry parents of athletes and/or coaches have penned strongly worded emails in our direction because we have published photos of Little Johnny crying on the sidelines. But our job is to document what we see and tell the story with images and most of the time that image of the raw emotion of the loss is what tells the story the best.
Larry shot this wonderful photo (seen below) of a trio of South Kitsap baseball players reacting to their championship loss inside of their dugout this past weekend. I love how each players body language communicates what they are feeling even though you can’t see their faces. And the empty hangers in the right hand corner seem to add just a little extra something to the image:
Larry and I feel this shot should have ran huge on the sports page. It’s the end of their season, it was THE championship game and it ended with emotion in the dugout…
…it did not run in the print edition. Instead a photo of a player bobbling a missed catch (which also a few angry emails directed at us as well) was the dominant image on the page with a secondary photo of a missed tag.
So here’s the question, if you were designing the page, which would you have run as the main image? The above emotional image or one or both of these two below that actually ran?
Things to consider:
All three images do tell the story in their own way since errors were aplenty in the game which resulted in the loss.
The front page of the sports section featured an “agony of defeat” soccer playoff photo just the day before.