Goalies Inc. Hockey School.

Okay, we all know that Facebook has had a massive impact on a number of different levels.  One morning recently I woke up and checked my email stating that I had been mentioned on someone’s post on Facebook.  Normally it’s just the guys at work giving me crap, but this time it was a hockey player I have photographed a lot in the past recommending me to a goalie school instructor who wants photos taken of his camp that weekend.

Stare-down.

Stare-down.
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Turns out, I got the gig, and ended up shooting that weekend for Jim Stanaway’s Goalies Inc. Hockey School, after a 4-hour trek up to Shawano, WI.  Goalies Inc is dedicated to bringing affordable instruction, clinics and positive role models to youth hockey players (from mites to high school levels).  Please check out more about their camps and schools here.

Jim giving the universal, world-wide sign for “good job”.
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Here’s what I love about shooting hockey camps…. everything.  Being on my skates, on the ice, with my equipment is a fantastic feeling.  Think about that for a second.  Go on, think about it.  The key phrase there is “being on the ice”.  When shooting hockey, you need to have a vantage point that most people don’t see.  You don’t want to be ten-rows deep at a high-school game, shooting through the glass.  That’s how the fans see it, and anyone can take those pictures.  Yes, trust me, ANYONE can take them.  You want to be on the bench if you can, or between them, or somewhere with an unobstructed view of the ice.  And in case you’re curious, when I shoot hockey, I use my Canon 70-200 f/2.8L lens and my Canon 7D body (with a 40D as a backup).  Occasionally I will use my 35L, but that is when I’m going for the ultra-thin Depth of Field (DOF).

A line of goalies.
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Jim runs a good camp, and is nice and laid back for the kids, which helps them feel comfortable.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s all fun and no work.  I remember camps as a kid and there’s a lot you don’t necessarily WANT to do, but the instructors tell you to because they know it will help… and that’s what happened.  The kids and instructors were in good spirits.  The parents in the stands were a little less, as it was downright COLD in the rink, but hey, that’s hockey for ya; they knew what they signed up for.

Gotta love the tape-job on this one!
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The kids were awesome, if not a little weary of the camera and giant lens always pointing at them.  Some surprisingly good goalies as well, for how young they were.  The instructors were very nice and accommodating, and overall it was a great experience.  Jim and his staff have asked me back for their Summer 2013 camps, and I can’t wait to shoot more.

“Spiderman” has only been playing goalie a couple months!
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Shane, sporting his fancy Passau pads, makes a great save on a 2-on-0 during the breakaway portion of the day.
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