BLACKRAPID Guest Post by Alisha Lovrich | Photographing with the Double Breathe Slim in New Zealand
I’m Alisha, a 25-year-old photographer all the way from Auckland, New Zealand and I’d like to share a little bit about myself and experience in the world of sports photography and beyond!
MY PHOTOGRAPHY WORK VARIES QUITE A BIT AND THIS AMAZING PART OF BEING A FREELANCER MEANS I NEVER GET BORED.
While the majority of my photography is in sports and fitness industries (from capturing actual sporting events to staged lifestyle work for sporting and fitness entities) I also capture events and weddings, which I approach the same as sports: you have one moment, don’t miss the shot! With my background as a Graphic Designer and Content Creator by trade, I’m somewhat a perfectionist who likes to take creative control and fulfill this with food, product, and lifestyle photography in the studio and on location.
SPORTS AND ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVOURITE.
As an athlete myself competing in Track and Field in Pole Vault, sports has always been part of my life and will always be part of my identity so I’m very lucky to have it as part of my career too. Nothing beats that feeling when you capture the key shot that shows a split second of athleticism and/or emotion. Professional and amateur athletes put hours and hours of work into their sport and you can see it through their emotions when they succeed, which is what I feel and look to capture in sport. Participating in a variety of sports my whole life has helped me read the situation in photography; you have to think very fast and often make key decisions split seconds (which helps in many other areas of photography where you are working against time).
WHEN MAKING THESE DECISIONS, I TRY TO ANTICIPATE THE MOMENT BEFORE IT HAPPENS SO I CAN BE READY AND PLAN MY POSITION, COMPOSITION AND EXPOSURE.
Therefore my gear setup has to work as fast as I do. Whether there is plenty of space around you, or you are crowded amongst other photographers/people, the last thing you want to worry about is dropping your cameras when you change bodies. I used to fluff around with having two cameras on my shoulders, they always slipped off and to change camera bodies you had to either place the other one down, hold it between your legs, or chuck back on your shoulder; all things that take time, until I discovered BLACKRAPID double strap system. For any lens/body combo that doesn’t require a monopod I chuck on my Double Breathe, so now when I need to change cameras quickly, I literally just drop it (for a 70-200 2.8 and smaller, the 300 2.8 you need to place it down haha) and the other one is ready to go at my hip, no need to worry about where it is ‘cause it’s literally attached to me!
OFTEN IN SPORTS YOU HAVE TO QUICKLY GET UP AND MOVE, SO WITH MY BLACKRAPID DOUBLE BREATHE I CAN JUST DO THAT AND KNOW MY CAMERAS ARE ATTACHED TO ME RATHER THAN HAVING TO PICK THEM UP AND WASTE TIME.
It works well when you are also carrying a larger 400mm because you can just grab it and leave the other bodies at your hips. When you see a key moment or a potential angle, all you are thinking about is how you will capture it. Thus, you can often see me climbing a tree, in a ditch, jumping the fence, etc. so I rather not have to worry about holding my cameras! When I was the Nike + Auckland photographer I used to push scooter with my gear to get to various spots and it also made it possible to bring out a snack very easily which is very important, haha. Another plus is that I get to hug my fellow athlete friends on the track without worrying about smashing or dropping my gear in the heat of the moment.
SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY MIGHT BE A PREDOMINATELY ‘MAN’S GAME’ BUT BEING A FEMALE DOES HAVE ITS ADVANTAGES.
Due to my smaller frame I am often or not chucked in the more unusual spaces for assignments like being on the back of a motorbike, on a small inflatable boat to capture sailing/ocean swimming, or photographing a race by being harnessed to the top of the bridge looking down. I feel as a female I have a naturally different perspective to sports as I’m sensitive and intuitive to the raw emotion sport brings out in people. Sports photographers have the power and responsibility to not only create a story but to illustrate the strength of ALL athletes. My hope is to inspire other females to take up sports photography to create a more diverse range of powerful sporting and help illuminate the strong female athletes in sports and beyond!
COMMENTS LIKE ‘THAT IS HEAVY GEAR FOR A LITTLE GIRL’ HASN’T PHASED ME BECAUSE I KNOW I’M REALLY LUCKY IN MY EXPERIENCE.
Whether in London, Australia for the Commonwealth Games, or in my home country of New Zealand for national and international events, I’ve had a far greater positive experience working alongside very experienced male photographers from all over the world who are nothing but supportive, friendly, and encouraging! So I encourage any other young girls out there that it’s a pretty cool world and there are good people around! (Here I take the opportunity to thank all the experienced male photographers I’ve met from New Zealand and all over the world, who showed no judgement, treated me as equal and only judged me on what images I produced rather than my age or gender, so thank you!)
MY LAST BIG TRACK AND FIELD EVENT WAS THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES IN APRIL WITH MY ASSIGNMENT TO PHOTOGRAPH THE NEW ZEALAND ATHLETICS TEAM IN ACTION.
This was an incredible experience to not only be in the thick of an international game getting the shots of my friends in action, but to also capture the moment they received medals for their accomplishments. Currently, I’m working on a few little assignments that aren’t sporting events like projects with Hey Girl, a wellness and health hub targeted at Women, and Parafed Auckland showing athletes as strong and how they use their disability positively. I am also working on a series of product and lifestyle work and of course, personal projects discovering new boundaries of creativity with my talented friends.
I ENJOY GETTING OUT THERE, SHOOTING FOR MYSELF, AND EXPLORING NEW IDEAS AS YOU NEVER STOP LEARNING AND PUSHING YOUR CRAFT.
– Alisha Lovrich
You can see what Alisha is up to on:
Alisha’s sport photography highlights:
IAAF World Athletics Championships in London 2017
FIH World Hockey League, Women’s Final in Auckland 2017
World Masters Games in Auckland 2017 photographing Athletics, Mountain Biking, Sailing, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Swimming.
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018
Alisha’s current gear getup:
BLACKRAPID Slim Double Strap (For my small frame)
Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM
Couple of Canon Speedlights I use on/off camera for events/creative work I can knock around.