Capturing Emotion - John Patota

Sports photography is all about freezing the moment, getting the shot at the peak action and capturing emotion – but players at the highest levels of amateur and professional golf do not show a lot of emotion. They are trained to keep their feelings from getting too high or low- unlike other sports like football and soccer where celebrations are common.

I followed Stephanie Lau and her opponent, Gabi Ruffels, around the golf course all day for the last round of the 2018 Women’s North and South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. All day I was looking for emotion after a good shot or a bad shot – but did not get much. I was able to capture some great shots of the action – but no emotion.  

That all changed at the 16th hole of the match when Stephine calmly sank a 5-ft eagle putt to take the lead. No fist-pump, no high-fiving her caddie just a slight wave of her hand.

The takeaways of this example are to be prepared, know your sport, study your subject and be patient.

To read more about the Pinehurst and amateur golf, visit the Pinehurst Golfer website.