I had the honor of photographing Neuqua Valley High School‘s athletes of the year for their Booster Club. Each coach selected the tathlete of the year – the one that most represents not only the top of the sport, but the qualities and characteristics that best represent NVHS. Below represent the fall sports. The best part about these pictures, is I had full creative control over what we did. The only sport missing is girl’s swimming, which we had to move with winter. I also had the pleasure of interviewing the athletes.
First up is boy’s cross country. They won state! The coach said there was no way to pick only one member of the state team, so we did the whole Wolf Pack. Way to go, guys!
Next up, we have Jessica, a fabulous tennis player. When asked What do you wish you knew when you were just starting? She answered, “I wish I knew to start earlier in competitive training, so I could be better than I am right now. Yet at the same time, I am grateful for my late start. One thing I’ve always struggled with throughout my life is finding the confidence in myself to succeed in my pursuits. Because of my late start, my insecurities and uncertainties caused me to face numerous challenges in my tennis journey that not only challenged my physical abilities, but also challenged who I am, what my values are, and my competitive spirit. In turn, I was able to discover my capabilities in time-management, discipline, and perseverance, and after beating the players I used to lose to, I finally discovered my self-confidence. This sport presented me with difficulties that made me realize my potential to improve and to succeed, on and off the court.“
Then we have boy’s golf. I wanted to do something different – a cool, GQ look for him. Amazingly, he didn’t start playing golf until the summer before freshman year! I love this image!
And of course, we have girl’s golf, as well. For her, I also had an idea of a sunrise where the sun really outlined the body. When asked what golf has taught her, Julia responded, “Golf has been the most frustrating yet most rewarding sport I have ever played. It has taught me patience, teamwork, and most of all how to work under pressure. I have been fortunate in playing with many different golfers on different Naperville golf courses – mainly old guys! They not only gave me some great advice, but encouraged me to keep working and get better. Thanks to all of them.”
Next up, we have our boy’s soccer player, Calum. He was such a great sport. I knew I wanted to do this kick. So he had to do it over and over and over again to get it right. Poor guy! When asked what soccer has taught him, he responded: “I have learned how to be part of a team. I also have learned how to be a good leader. The biggest lesson I have learned through soccer is that when we are loosing and things aren’t going our way you have to keep going and finish strong! Never give up and let your team down!”
Next we have girl’s cross country with Caroline. If you couldn’t tell, I love big skies. 🙂 Her favorite quote is, “the task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.” I am always reminding myself of this on hard runs or when I get nervous before races. It reminds me to trust in my training and the work I have already done, allowing me to focus and challenge myself.
Next up, we have football. Coach couldn’t decide between these two athletes, so I created this dramatic image. Donny will be attending Valparaiso University to begin working on his Computer Science major and also be a part of their football team. Anthony will be attending Illinois State University for school only.
And lastly for the fall sports, we have girl’s volleyball with Nora and Kora. Nora will be playing volleyball at Indiana University. One of her favorite quotes is from her grandpa: “Every battle is won before it has even begun. You have to win it first in your mind.” Kora will be going on to play volleyball at Wichita State. Her favorite quote is, “”It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
Doing athlete portraits as part of our senior pictures is one of our specialties. I love being able to showcase what we do best!