The ultimate multipurpose athletic facility, the Colosseum, has stood in Rome as a venue for athletic competition, spectacle, and tourism, for almost 2000 years. When photographing slightly newer athletic facilities for our clients, rather than concentrating on the sport itself, we are put to task to show the facility, in both function and form, as a destination for the spectator, as well as the setting for the sport.
Athletic facilities are more than merely a field, stadium, gym, natatorium, or ballpark. Quite often, the activity which takes place within, offers tremendous economic development for the owner and the immediate surrounding. Their very existence as hosts of sport also provides a school or a community a sense of belonging, a connection to a wider world. In this sense, athletic facilities transcend being mere structures, and take on the role of a conduit to build a sense of unity.
An athletic venue offers the photographer a unique set of pragmatic challenges and opportunities. We routinely find ourselves working with the maintenance team to coordinate things like timing for chalk lines to be applied to a field, which personnel are available to control lighting and graphics, and synchronizing practice and game schedules to have athletes in (or out of) the facility, as desired. Planning is how we stay ahead of the game. 😊