Ever since high school, I was in love with photography and I loved sports. I gladly volunteered to take pictures of every football game for the yearbook simply because I loved the sport and I loved taking pictures; two birds one stone right? After high school, I lost my love for photography and I went on a sabbatical for a little bit. It wasn't until I started taking pictures for lacrosse that my love for photography came back.
I started taking pictures for lacrosse photos at a small university about thirty minutes from my house. After the first few games I wasn't sure if my pictures were good enough, I wasn't sure if I should keep on wasting my gas to drive to every game, I also did not know a lot of people so I was a little bit awkward after the games; but one of the games I remember one of the players and one of the parents came up to me and affirmed the pictures that I took and how much they loved them. It was in that moment that I felt like my pictures meant something, not just to me but to other people.
The more I started attending the games and taking pictures, the more attention I had received from the players, the more special I had felt. I was never the "It Girl" in school and although I was perfectly content with that I started feeling popular and I'll be honest some of the guys on the team were not bad looking; so when they all gave me their attention I definitely felt special and I loved the attention that they were giving me.
With me being their unofficial team photographer I got invited to their parties a lot and if I ever needed a place to crash if I had drank too much one of the players always offered to let me stay the night with them. Of course, I would never drink that much to where I needed to stay the night but, I did always go out of my way to show up at parties to hang with the guys and I would do anything for them. It wasn't until my second and last year of taking pictures for the team that I started going up to the university more and that was when I started getting in trouble with my family.
My family and I have always been really close and they are pretty lenient with my party habits. The only thing they asked of me was that I not stay out too late and come home at night (unless I asked permission in advance if I can spend the night somewhere). I started going to parties more often, I started spending more time with a lot of the players, I started drinking more with the players, and I ended up staying the night with some of them because they made me feel special and I wanted that attention. At the moment I did not care about what my parents would think the next morning. I knew that they would forgive me eventually but after they forgave me I still did the same thing anyway. I put the team and the love of the game in front of my family which wasn't the best decision I made in my lifetime.
In the end I realized that as much as I love the game, love being on the field where all the excitement was, love taking pictures and seeing how they turned out, and seeing all of the players use my pictures on their social media; I fell in love with all of that for the wrong reasons. I fell in love with it because I loved the attention and I loved how special the team had made me feel because of the pictures. I fell in love with all of it because for once I felt like I mattered outside of my family. Now don't get me wrong; the team is amazing and they are all a great group of guys. Yes, they made me feel special all of the time but that was because I was special. I did a good job at capturing them playing a sport that they loved and by doing that; they thanked me by making me feel part of the team. I chose to stay the night with them because I was scared that I wouldn't feel as special as I did the next game.
Even though I fell in love with the sport for all the wrong reasons I don't think I will be able to thank the team enough for making me feel like my talent mattered. I will not be able to thank them enough for making me feel so special just because I was doing something that I loved. I will never be able to thank them for bringing my pictures to reality by sharing them all over their social media. They were the people that helped me fall in love my with my talent all over again, and for that, I am forever thankful.