So I am going to start off this post by talking about high kick pics…photos that some people think are controversial. On UltimateCheerleaders.com we don’t typically show straight up high kicks because we have a person on staff who tends to take a more conservative view of the subject…at least in some circumstances. And we don’t want to attract the wrong type of audience…no more than we do already, if you know what I mean. Now if we are a little hypersensitive on the subject it’s because we want to be protective of the girls we shoot and since we have developed good relations with some team Directors who credential us for their auditions, we do respect this boundary of good taste. And on this blog, I know that there are a few proud CG parents and relatives that peruse the site, so we tend to be protective of the girls.
But there are some circumstances where I think it’s okay to post tasteful high kick pics. For example, if you are covering an audition you really aren’t doing your job if you don’t show a few kicks because every audition begins with an across the floor routine which includes high kicks. It’s a common routine used to demonstrate basic dance technique. If you are shooting an audition, you must cover this dance move.
If you are covering the Rockettes who are known for their kick line, you shoot the shot. If you don’t photograph this signature move, you are not doing your job.
If you are covering the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (and I have), their signature move is a kick line into a jump split. And I would say, if you don’t get that shot you didn’t do your job.
Now I used to shoot for a paper and I when I shot a football game, I shot everything…offense, defense…running plays, passing plays…injuries, time outs, coaches reactions…you get the idea. You shoot everything because you don’t know ahead of time what will turn out to be a great shot, a defining shot.
And when I go to a Chargers game and shoot the Charger Girls for this blog, I shoot everything…spins, kicks…sideline routines, quarter breaks, big play reaction shots…whatever might be illustrative of the game day experience or just something serendipitous that makes me smile. Sometimes you get a great shot of a Charger Girl reacting to a play. Sometimes you get a great shot of a Charger Girl dancing. And sometimes you get a great shot of a Charger Girl doing a high kick.
Now that’s kind of rare because when a cheerleader performs a high kick, that’s usually a “high effort” move and sometimes a girl’s facial expression can be odd. But every now and then, you get a shot that’s special…special because the girl looks graceful doing a body torquing move and has a great expression on her face…but it’s a high kick and some people are a little gun shy.
Why am I spending all this white space discussing the matter, well I have a high kick pic that I think is special, but I wanted to preface it. This shot wouldn’t have made UltimateCheerleaders.com, but I think it’s a beautiful shot of a lovely and talent dancer. Angela is her name. So, here it is…our lead shot…and a rarity.
This is one of my favorite shots of the day because it’s the high kicking cheerleader equivalent of the Heisman pose. Straight leg up. Straight leg down. Flat stomach. Arms fully extended. And most of all, a beautiful smile.
So whereas this photo would be judged differently on UltimateCheerleaders.com, I think this photo is beautiful and indicative of what the cheerleaders do at games.
Yeah, if I was a better photographer, I would have gotten the top of her boot or all of her arms. But I like shooting tight and perhaps that’s why these types of shots are edited out on UltimateCheerleaders.com because you might see too much. What can I say, I know how to focus my camera, unlike some others on the site.
The following pic is what is acceptable on UltimateCheerleaders.com, but it is so much less evocative of the talents of a gifted cheerleader. It is not as dynamic as the previous photo, being the equivalent of shooting a running back in half step, instead of shooting him at full stride.
I think this is still a great photo of Angela, but the previous photo is so much more compelling.
Oh well, I see I have been a bit long winded again. I just want to say that on this site, if there is a high kick photo or any other that I find compelling or aesthetically interesting, I am going to post it. High kicks are fair game, in my opinion if done tastefully and not in an obviously embarrassing or prurient (look that one up!) manner.
I know there are people out there that look at cheerleaders in that manner and I am not trying to encourage that kind of behavior. I look at these photos of the Charger Girls in a different way. Sure, the Charger Girls are good looking and even a bit sexy. I don’t know one professional cheerleader who isn’t. And yes, their outfits are definitely skimpy. But I like to think my photos are more than just a pretty girl kicking up her legs, even though that’s all some people see.
This is Christie. She was a Jets Flight Crew Cheerleader last year, but she made the trek out west to audition for the Charger Girls. Coincidentally, I met her two years ago at the PRO convention in Atlanta. She has rapidly become one of my favorite Charger Girls to photograph. From the photos below, I think you can see why.
This is another one of my favorite shots from last Sunday. I only wish the background was free of visual distractions and I could have focused more attention on Courtney.
This is Culture and we have something in common. She was a rookie Charger Girl in 1999, my first year as a Charger season ticket holder. Yes, I support the Charger Girls with my hard earned dollars.
This is Aussie Emma who hails from…wait for it…Australia. She used to be a professional cheerleader for the Australasia National Basketball League and the National Rugby League in Sydney.
Hannah from Montana…no, she’s from San Diego and one of my favorites to photograph.
This is Jacquelyn, our former USC Song Girl. I remember her from her college days and I think she looks better than ever. Welcome back.
One half of our CG sister combination, Jennifer O. The other half is Line Captain Lauren O. I never seem to take a bad shot of Jennifer…she’s that photogenic.
And speaking of never taking a bad shot, I never take a bad shot of Line Captain Katie. She’s just an amazing dancer…I guess you have to be if you are a former Laker Girl like she is.
Here’s Lauren O., the other half of our CG sister combo.
Lauren P. was a Clipper Spirit dancer in the past, but she’s a Charger Girl now.
Here’s Natalie, another Charger Girl that I get amazing photographs of…never a bad photo….never.
Starkesha is rocking a new hair style this year and it looks great. She was a former Detroit Automotion dancer. Her bio says she lives in NOHO (North Hollywood), so that makes her drive to San Diego just a tad longer than mine (121 miles)…you’ve got to admire that dedication.