I have mentioned that Claire is playing volleyball pretty much non-stop around here, but I haven’t had a chance to post many pictures yet. And I may as well get to work on that since we’re already over half-way through the season!
Claire has the best of both worlds in volleyball right now because she made the JV team where she gets to play a lot…
…and the coach also lets her “swing” up to Varsity where she is learning so much from all those older girls. And cheering her heart out on the sidelines:
Sometimes she gets to play a little with them in the games (above), but more-so in the tournaments:
That is exactly what Max did his sophomore year and it’s kind of fun to have a repeat.
I’m telling you, this sport attracts the best kids! Love that Claire gets to be surrounded by them so much, and she’s pretty excited about that too. (JV and Varsity included)
It also attracts the best coaches. These guys are such great “builders-of-girls.” This pic. it a little blurry but I love it so much:
Those Varsity players and coaches really take her under their wing and are so nice to her. This was their reaction when she made a great play in one of the tournaments:
Sweetness right there, right?
We have spent a LOT of time here:
(Which means we get to visit with our fav. security guard…
…all my kids have adored that guy up there and still try to see him when they come back into town…he rocks.)
We have also played at schools ALL OVER THE VALLEY. Gosh we have driven all over creation I tell you!
We fed all those cute girls dinner a couple of the nights in the far-away matches last week and that is a lot of work I tell you!
We also cajoled Lucy to join us at one game (she has choir and piano and also doesn’t really like to go many places these days, so it’s a big deal when we get Lucy with us!) I will keep a special recording in my mind of Claire positively BEAMING out on that court seeing that her little sister actually made it to one of her games:
…And how Lucy was so excited saying “Go Claire!” looking and waving the completely wrong direction because she couldn’t really see her but was so good at sending out her love anyway.
Love those sisters so much!
One of our tournaments was seriously the BEST. The girls played their hearts out. Claire played a little the first day:
And they kept winning so much that the second day they moved to the winner’s bracket at a different school and ended up beating the toughest teams.
Here’s Claire with one of the coach’s daughters between play:
Claire didn’t play once they got to those super tough teams, but she sure is a force to be reckoned with on the bench. Ha! Wish I had a picture of that jubilation!
Oh here it is a little bit:
They came in second in that whole tournament (with 13-15 in the tiebreaker).
Pretty exciting times!
I’ve been working a little on my sports photography skills so I apologize for the over abundance of pictures:
But you’ve gotta love that concentration:
And also jubilant excitement!
She finishes those JV games, hustles to switch jerseys, grab a speedy bite to eat (the parents always bring dinners), and then warms up with the varsity team, which you can tell she’s pretty happy about 🙂
The only downside of all this volleyball is that boy, it’s tough to balance all the homework and school work! She’s gone to tournaments 2-3 nights a week and doesn’t get home until super late, has practice the rest of the days, and they’ve had three Friday/Saturday tournaments that have taken her out of school for full days. It’s tricky to be sure. But she’s holding her own and wouldn’t have it any other way.
They have another tournament this weekend…160 teams from all over creation here in the valley. This one has a dinner the night before as part of the deal, so they all gathered here last night all gussied up to head to the dinner together:
Loved having all those golden girls over for a little.
So now I’m off to catch the afternoon game!
Shawni, I love this post. My daugher also plays and loves volleyball. Can you share the camera and lens you use? Your pictures are amazing and gosh, I know how hard it is to photograph sports and in a GYM. Thanks in advance and good luck in the rest of her season.
Hi Meka! My camera is the Canon 6D which I bump up to a super high ISO and then for the shots that are mine on this post (some are from my new photographer friend Donna Mundy), I used my Canon 70-200 2.8 lens. It is a huge and heavy one but I love it for stuff like this (the low aperture mixed with a high shutter speed helps so much to get the action). I’ve never really worked on sports photography before and I have a lot to learn so I’m just enjoying trying to figure it all out.
Great post! Can you share where Clair got the black dress? Thank you!
I think that’s Grace’s old dress and I’m pretty sure she got it on ASOS online a few years ago. Sorry that probably doesn’t help you too much!
I was going to ask the same question Meka asked. I LOVE your photography, and I am spending so much time in the stands at my daughter’s vball games, I decided to play with my camera. I’ve learned a lot, but I’d love to know what lens you are using. Also where do you like to sit, especially to get these close ups! And what are your favorite settings for that fabulous gym lighting? I find I have to be a bit further out to see where the ball is, and if I take my eye away from the camera and just look, I can’t always get the shot. Clearly, more practice is needed!!
See above for the lens info. I’ve been experimenting with where to sit, I think I like the front row best to get in on the action but I like moving up in the bleachers to see more of the action too. I’d just try everywhere and see what you like best, it’s just fun to practice 🙂 The best pictures in this post (in my opinion) were taken by a lady named Donna Mundy (they are labeled with her name at the bottom…but it looks like I missed a couple, I need to go back and label those ones too) who is contracted from the school to capture a few of the tournaments. It’s been fun to sit by her at a couple games and pick her brain about what she uses. She says she always uses at least a 1,000 shutter speed for the faster varsity games. Like I said before, I still have a lot to learn!
Oh also, here’s Donna’s website if you want to check out what she does: https://www.donnamundyphotography.com/
She’s really good!
What fun to see all this! I”m so sad that we missed so much many games, but your amazing photographs are almost as good as being there! Maybe even better in some ways because we get to see her best moments and priceless expressions as well as incredible kills and spikes frozen in a photograph. Love this so much!
Can’t wait to have you join us! xoxo