This morning I had the privilege of photographing San Francisco 49er Arik Armstead's football camp. The camp took place in Elk Grove, Ca - his hometown! Elk Grove is a town about 30 minutes away from Sacramento, and about 45 minutes away from where I live. I made the trip to Elk Grove with my gear in tow to capture all that went on at the camp. Thankfully, the weather was absolutely perfect. It wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze throughout the day to keep the campers cool.
Arik is a towering athlete. He stands 6'8" and could easily be mistaken for an NBA basketball player. He's just that tall! Though he is literally a giant, Arik is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. He made it a point to speak with every kid who came to camp and asked them their name. He was extremely generous with his time with them as well as with folks covering the event like me.
The kids who came to camp were full of energy and excitement. Each of the campers got their own camp shirt before the football fun began. I'm sure it's not often that they get to be so close to an NFL player, so it must have been a thrill. There were plenty of 49er fans who came to camp. I definitely saw a good number of 49er shirts and hats worn by the kids. Today these guys would learn about the game of football, but also about how to be a good and respectful person as well.
The campers warmed up with some exercises and then got straight to work on some drills. The kids learned fundamental football drills and had a long day of physical activity. Though the day was strenuous, I never saw any camper get tired... wow, that was amazing. I wish I had the boundless amount of energy that they had. I got tired just standing around shooting photos all day! Well... someone need to get his butt moving, that's for sure.
The camp could not have happened without the help of the many coaches who volunteered their time to work with the campers. The coaches not only taught the kids football drills, but also encouraged them to do their best. I was impressed with the dedication these coaches had in working with those who came to camp.
One of the stations during the camp was the photo station. Here is where each camper got the chance to take an individual photo with Arik. I set up my lighting gear and got to work. 130 individual photos later I was done. I hope the campers enjoyed their photo with Arik!
I have to give a huge thanks to Arik as well as Jay, Joel, and Shannon who got me involved with the camp. I had a great time out, and hope to do this again!
Check out ALL my photos from Arik's camp by clicking on this link: http://www.lukeistheblacksheep.com/arik-armstead-camp