2015 P-R-O Convention All Star: St. Louis Rams Cheerleader Autumn

As I review and post process the thousands images from the 2015 P-R-O Convention, I wanted to kick off our convention coverage by paying homage to some of the more memorable professional cheerleaders in attendance. We refer the these beautiful and talented women as P-R-O Convention All Stars.

We begin this year’s tribute with a cheerleader that I first saw a couple of years ago at the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders Final Auditions. With a distinctive hair style and a beautiful smile, you could say she is an attention grabber. This year the Rams Cheerleaders brought their game day uniforms (thumbs up!) to P-R-O and it was my destiny to snap a few photos of Autumn for this series.

So without further ado, introducing Autumn of the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders…our first P-R-O Convention All Star of 2015.

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Autumn is the first of many special cheerleaders to be honored here at UltimateCheerleaders.com. Our next P-R-O Convention All Star is the definition of All American. So as we celebrate Independence Day, you will definitely want to check back on the Fourth of July!

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2015 P-R-O Convention Coverage Begins Friday!

The P-R-O Convention in Atlanta is the largest convention of professional cheerleaders in the United States. Over 300 hundred cheerleaders and dancers from the NFL, NBA, and semi Pro Sports gather each year in Atlanta for a weekend of dance, team building and networking. It is a spectacular event and it is my favorite event of the year to cover. Its a lot of work…literally a week’s worth…but it is also a lot of fun.

2015 P-R-O Convention Coverage Begins Friday!

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A Charger Girl Tribute – Anjelica “Jelly” Kaylor

April is a bittersweet time of the year because April is the month that the new Charger Girl squad is announced.  It is a happy time because I look forward to seeing the new rookies.  But it is sad time as well when we realize the loss of those who will no longer be with the squad.  Every year, a few special Charger Girls hang up the pom poms and this year was no different.  In fact, it was a terrible year for me in that one of my all time favorite Charger Girls is gone.

From the first day I saw her, I knew she would be special.  Tall, leggy and head to toe gorgeous. She looked great in the uniform and she has these beautiful blue eyes to go with that wonderful red hair.  She was special and she became a crowd favorite from the first day she set foot on the sidelines.   Yes. Anjelica was special and she was ours.

2011 – Rookie Year

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In 2010, the Charger Girls wore these pink warm up jackets to honor breast cancer awareness month…and although Anjelica looked amazing in hers, I can’t help feel that this look was a bit off. If my memory serves correctly, it was a rather warm and humid day…Anjelica and her squad mates must have been dying wearing those jackets. I’m glad they got rid of those and now cheer with pink pom poms instead.

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2010 was the last year that the Charger Girls wore Halloween costumes. That year I gave out awards for the best costumes and Anjelica won Most Humourous for her Wilma Flintstone costume.

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Flashback Friday- The Ladies of Ontario Fury Video (2013)

This was the first video I created with my iPhone 5S and iMovie.  I wanted to do something different, so I bought a Steadicam rig for my iPhone and decided to try something new to showcase the talented Ladies of Ontario Fury.

Not too bad for a first time…but I think I stick mainly to still photographs and only occasionally dabble in video.

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A Charger Girl Tribute – Angela M.

NFL audition season is almost over and the 2015 Charger Girls have been selected. This time of the year, the time before the new season starts, is a time of reflection where we remember those notable Charger Girls who have retired and are no longer on the team. In this series, we remember those special Charger Girls who have moved on to other opportunities and in this edition, we remember one special Charger Girl…Angela M.

When the 2015 squad was announced and Angela was not listed, it finally became a certainty that one of my favorite Charger Girls had really retired. It was a bittersweet day. It is not that this came as a complete surprise because I had a heads up…the last time I chatted with her at the Bud Light Power Party, she had indicated that she was most likely retiring because she was getting married soon. My disappointment was softened by the fact that marriage is a wonderfully special event in a person’s life and we wish her well.

I have always had a special mojo going on with Angela. I got more special photographs of her than any other girl on the squad. For whatever reason, we connected and it showed in the images. You have to have a connection between the photographer and the subject to get a good, compelling photograph. And we did. I can’t explain it. There are just some girls that you have this connection and some girls, at least in my case, you just don’t.

I don’t even understand it…that connection…but we got some special photographs together. So here is my photographic tribute to one special Charger Girl…Angela M.

2011 – Rookie Year

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I think Angela was the best high kicker I’ve ever photographed. Her kicks were precise, vertical and sharp. They looked effortless and she looked beautiful doing them…unlike some girls who seem to struggle with those physically demanding dance movements.

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She was a pretty good spinner too!

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Brittany Wagner Crowned Miss United States California 2015

Brittany Wagner, a Ladies of Ontario Fury dancer for the past two years, was crowned Miss United States California over the weekend.

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Brittany also participated in the Miss California USA pageant earlier this year and placed as the 1st Runner Up. She has been a member of the Ladies of Ontario Fury dance team for the past two years and I have had the pleasure to photograph her on numerous occasions.

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She is as nice as she is beautiful and we would like to congratulate her on her most recent accomplishment.

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More Photos From The 2015 Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Final Auditions

As I mentioned in my prior article, I have been looking forward to the day that I would be able to photograph the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. I regard the MDC as one of the top three or four squads in the NFL. They seem to have it all…beautiful girls from the top to bottom of the roster…glamorous and sexy uniforms that flatter the feminine form…and a staff that is keenly aware of the marketing and PR potential of the squad. So it comes as no surprise that the MDC are on the top of my shoot list…and maybe one day I’ll actually make to a game.

But for now, I will have to content myself with their auditions. And let me say, this was a great one to attend. It was a lot of fun…for spectator and photographer alike…and there were a lot of photographers there, mostly family but there were a couple of super fan boys…you know the type. What they heck, I’m sure the Dolphins know what they are doing when they opened the finals up to the public.

It was a challenge shooting in that venue because there wasn’t a media section cordoned off and the layout of the auditorium wasn’t conducive to shooting the event. Bottom line, you had two choices: 1) shoot from the sides of the auditorium…close, but a very odd and harsh angle or 2) shoot from the back of the seating section and face the front of the stage. I choose the latter. Even though I was 20 rows back and around 60 feet from the stage, I just couldn’t fathom shooting from the wings at that angle. So, I had to make due being so far away from the stage and the resultant light fall off.

Like everything in life, there are tradeoffs and shooting from the back of the auditorium was one of them. And the final challenge was to shoot and post process around the judges, who were at stage level and the tops of their heads intruded into the lower part of a full body shot image of the girls…tradeoffs…life is a series of tradeoffs.

That being said, I still got over three hundred useable photos for my article…so here are some of the left overs. Enjoy.

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Shooting from so far back, you are going to get a lot of red eye. I have figure out how to batch process red eye reduction in Photoshop Elements…I was on deadline, so I did not have the time to remove the red eye manually. That would have taken too long to do.  But it is what it is…tradeoffs…damn tradeoffs.

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Blondes…lots of blondes. Actually, there were three noticeable demographic candidate groups: 1) blondes, 2) black girls, and 3) brunettes who were Hispanic. And there were at least three Asian girls from Japan. Actually not a bad distribution…very distinctively Miami, IMHO.

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