The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. But how often do we go an entire youth sports season without taking one good photograph of our children playing?
Sure, you buy the overpriced team and individual picture of your child posing with a ball, but does that really capture the essence of his or her experience? My guess is not.
A friend of mine asked me to take pictures at his team's recent football game so that he can create a scrapbook for each of his players at the end of the season as an end-of-year gift.
It got me thinking that every team should do something similar. Obviously, since I was asked, it doesn't take a professional photographer to take good photos that kids and parents will appreciate. All it takes is a decent camera and someone willing to take the time to do it.
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My guess is you already have a parent on your team who lugs a camera to the field and takes pictures, but probably mostly of his own child. Why not ask him to take some of all the team members, with a goal of getting at least one good photo of every player in action.
If you don't have a parent willing or able to take the pictures, maybe ask the local photography club, either in the community or at the high school. With digital photography, the only cost for someone to take the pictures is time.
And then how do you use the photos?
If you have the budget, you might give each player a framed photo instead of a trophy at the end of the season. I guarantee you a year from now the photo will still be on a desk or wall somewhere, while the trophy most likely will be stored in a box with several others.
If you get enough pictures, you can create a computerized slide show for the end-of-year party. The pictures don't have to be perfect, just images depicting the fun season.
You might just create a disc of all the pictures for each parent so they can then choose whether or not to spend the money making prints.
Or you could decide to do all three.
Regardless of how the pictures end up being used, I guarantee they will be appreciated by everyone.