I spent years photographing cheer and dance athletes during my time with NCA & NDA. And though my assignments were always to cover the camp or competition, I approached photographing these athletes just as I did with any other client -- simply as people. Being a photographer, in a way, you're always along for the ride with the subject you're shooting. For me, I was witness to the triumphs and defeats of countless individuals. Admittedly, I was that guy who would crack jokes at the expense of cheerleaders when I was a kid; however, I can proudly say that I'm happily eating my words.
After the countless hours shooting and editing, the aching muscles and immeasurable amount Tylennol consumed, I'm going to miss the hell out of photographing these young athletes and being witness to the incredible prowess and talent these cheerleaders and dancers exhibit. I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to photograph another cheerleader or dancer in the capacity I once did, but in a way, I feel like I am able to appreciate it that much more. I was incredibly fortunate to have been a part of it. Below are my favorite frames from the 2014 - 2015 season.
So long, cheer and dance, it's been real.