Friday, November 11, 2011

Las Vegas Weekend Photography Part 1: Are you Tuff-N-Uff?

This weekend I had to opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a bit and do some Mixed Martial Arts photography.  This was my first time shooting this type of sporting event, and needless to say, just as there are rules for concert pit etiquette, there are similar rules that a photographer must comply with when shooting ring side.  Once I was up-to-speed on what to do and not do, I was ready to start capturing the action!

My involvement with this particular event was the result of an invite by the family of Jillian Lybarger.  Jillian was participating in the Tuff-N-Uff Future Stars of MMA Fighting Championship and I was there to hopefully capture her victory.  Jillian is a very talented fighter and easily dominated her opponent.  The match was over almost as quickly as it started!

Photographing sporting events and concerts are extremely challenging.  Both present unique lighting challenges and both are action packed.  MMA fighting, however, doesn't provide the best results by simply firing in burst mode.  You need to be able to observe, and almost anticipate what's about to happen.  Blink and the fight can be over.  It happened to me!  I had to tap on the shoulder of the photographer next to me in order to see what I missed.  I simply lost focus for just a second on the action in the ring and the fight was over.

Will I cover MMA fighting again?  If given the opportunity, definitely!  MMA carries a very similar addicting energy I find with shooting concerts, and once immersed in the environment, I don't want to quit!

Pics from the event below:
(TIP:  Click on any photo below to be taken to the full gallery on my photography website)

Jillian Lybarger dominating her opponent

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