By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter Academy
The saying goes “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
For me, the Sports Shooter Academy turns that saying on its head. This workshop keeps me young and I always learn … a lot.
So with apologies to David Letterman, here are:
Top 10 Things I learned (or relearned) at Sports Shooter Academy IX
10 I love the The Hat’s chili fries (but it sure doesn’t love me!)
9 The Nikkor 200-400mm zoom is the IT lens
8 Rugby players are the toughest SOBs out there
7 Biggest smiles of the week: Stephanie Moebius
6 We need to start off the workshop with eliminating P from the alphabet (NO PROGAM MODE!)
5 Projects live! (i.e. Swikar Pitel shooting a cool picture story at the La Habra Boxing Club)
4 I am going to fix the Chinese Fire Drill that is the event signups (I promise!)
3 Looking at workshoppers’ images makes me re-fall (is that a real word?) in love with photography
2 I’ve grown more patient over the years … but I need a bit more
1 Chimping is the biggest stumbling block to shooting
There are many people and companies that make the Sports Shooter Academy work and simple thanks is not sufficient in thanking them. But I can at least acknowledge them and give them all a big shout out…
The faculty, staff and speakers educated and inspired us all: Wally Skalij, Rod Mar, Shawn Cullen, Michael Goulding, Myung Chun, Sean Haffey, John McDonough, Dave Black, Christy Radecic, Rafael Delgado, Dave Honl, Matt Bailey and Mike Greenlee.
The #1 reason this wonderful educational program exists and continues is because of Matt Brown. His contacts, business acumen, experience, talents, sense of humor and sense of purpose drives The Academy, giving us the fuel to propel this (sometimes unweildly) bus.
Bill Pekala and Nikon provide The Academy with the resources, support and the funding that enables me to make this program tuition-free for college students. On the ground in O.C. during SSA IX Nikon’s Sara Moosebrugger, Mike Corrado and Ronal Taniwaki gave us their time, knowledge, experience and good humor. Nikon and their people share our dedication to education and photography… which is truly cool.
Samy’s Camera provides the SSA with support, including marketing help and resources to help us throughout the year with planning and logistics. Thanks Sam, Louis, Terry and Patrick.
Think Tank Photo has been a part of the Sports Shooter Academy since Day One. Whatever we ask for, they provide without hesitation. Thanks Doug, Brian, Deanne and Kurt…you’re gear and your support of the SSA is the best and appreciated.
Working with remote gear is always on the top of participants’ list of what they want to learn at these workshops and having PocketWizard involved has allowed up to really amp up our teaching in this area. Thanks to PocketWizard and to Ian Ray who journeyed from Vermont to be a part of our faculty.
liveBooks is the SSA’s home on the Internet, providing us with a wonderful website plus they are an active part of the SSA, as exhibited by co-founder Matt Bailey’s appearance at the past two workshops. His vision and words on wisdom both inspire and educate us.
My good friend Dave Honl is always there when we hold an event, need Honl Photo gear or to have him speak. When they coined the expression cool dude they must have had Dave in mind.
And lastly … I am able to continue working on the Sports Shooter Academy because of the Deanna and Emma. Their unending devotion to me and my work isn’t deserved but I continue this crazy notion of “giving a little something back” to photography because of them. This workshop is always devoted to them.
(Robert Hanashiro is USA TODAY’s west coast staff photographer. He is the founder of Sports Shooter and co-founder of the Sports Shooter Academy.)