Social Media (SM) Opens Doors at SI

My Klout is admirable. I'm not famous and I know I don't have a lot of followers, likes, pins, favourites or retweets. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to communicate on social media (SM) and more grateful for the opportunities it creates. Please join me on my journey to Sports Illustrated, NYC.

Instagram @bradpix “The wonderful Robin Wilson of @aerialpromotions stopped by for a visit today. Happy to have her spend some time with us, hope she can shoot for us this summer.” & on Twitter [symple_social icon="twitter" url="https://twitter.com/BradSmithSI/status/444179226892455936/photo/1" title="Brad Smith Twitter" target="self" rel=""] from @BradSmithSI. 

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[symple_box color="green" text_align="left" width="100%" float="none"] The Lead Up [/symple_box] I joked about a year ago when I said Sports Illustrated (SI) is going to love this photograph. You may have heard the awkward laugh, but deep down I crave ambition to pursue this starlight fantasy. Here I am on my dream journey to NYC to meet with the Sports Illustrated Director of Photography (DOP), Brad Smith.

Twitter and Instagram is where we connect. It is important to be consistently aware and share great information for people to follow. I’m always trying to improve my photography skills and attend many conferences. KelbyOne/Photoshop World (PSW) is my favourite. I have met one-on-one with many professionals who have given me phenomenal advice (My Posts: Dave Black, Bert Monroy, Peter Hurley, Jack Reznicki, Catherine Hall and Scott Kelby)

As I blog about my experiences and post images, a direct message comes through twitter. This is an engagement that I embrace and want to develop a relationship like Brad says, "A healthy marriage between editor & photographer".

Brad asks, “When are you coming to NY?”  OK…put yourself in my shoes. Brad is the Director of Photography for Sports Illustrated. He is the SI cover guy….Yeah that guy!..Theeeeeee Guy! When I shared my news with friends I got the sarcastic, “yeah right” attitude.

I continued to post and work hard at being a better photographer. Brad acknowledges on my SM some of my family portraiture, ambiance and action. Speaking of shoes, one of my favourite @Bradpix post is Seattle Seahawk pumps on the sideline at the Superbowl.   I also enjoy it when he posts the latest SI covers fresh off the press on Instagram @bradpix and his Gator play by play action on Twitter @BradSmithSI. The relationship continues and I enjoy bantering online at the Team Canada hockey jabs in Sochi. BTW=“GOAL’D” 

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So when Brad says he has football playoffs-The Superbowl in January, then The Olympics in Sochi, Russia for February and wants you to pick a date to meet…pick a day and wish upon a star to make it happen. 

[symple_box color="green" text_align="left" width="100%" float="none"] The Trip [/symple_box]

The flights were cancelled and the weather was the worst we have ever driven in [ http://instagram.com/p/ldGrSSS5AW/ ]. It took almost 13hrs to get to NYC because the New York State Thruway was closed due to accidents and poor weather conditions.

Over the last month my workload has been extensive, but most rewarding. I have put in over excessive work hours and drove thousands of miles to expand my portfolio. Coming from the land of Tim Hortons, I really needed a coffee, but unfortunately another roadblock [http://instagram.com/p/ldOr6Dy5Na/].

White knuckles we keep driving. Due to the weather and dizzy GPS, we don’t know our ETA. We do know that if we travel East we won’t go in circles anymore. Yes it was that bad!

To have a great support system when following your dreams is heartfelt. My parents up in Northern Canada Cottage Country are entertaining the kids, my husband is determined to drive straight through the storm just to get me to my meeting on time, friends reach out on social media (SM) for encouragement and photography colleagues assist me on final details of my portfolio.

[symple_box color="green" text_align="left" width="100%" float="none"] The Meeting [/symple_box]

Excited and nervous to say the least. After a couple of hours of rest, I work on portfolio B-C-D…just in case Brad wants to see more. A few points that resonate with me in Youtube video “How to Edit Your Photos with Brad Smith” : 

Look for the peripheral things going on and encompass the whole game…even the portrait of a player on the sideline…it’s important to tell the whole story and include them in your portfolio. Keep shooting even when the play ends or when no one around you is working!

What do you want to show me? What do you want to do? I want to do it all, but I need to impress Brad with my action photography. Although I know I would love to do feature work too (Like Robert Caplin). There is limited time and I really need to show him what I want to do...ACTION game photography.

Show your best work first…Images you can’t take your eyes off. Because portfolio reviews are based on judgment, many people have different opinions. I have had the some of the finest people in the industry assist me in choosing the best images for my portfolio. Now I have my most important sports photography review of my career.

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I am about to enter the Time & Life Building in New York City to meet with Brad Smith, Director of Photography Sports Illustrated. I was a half hour early after security. There was a gentleman from an advertising agency who does work for InStyle, People, Time and SI. We had a nice conversation in reception. When I arrived at SI, two fun loving characters met me at the front door.  They rolled out the red carpet and loaded me down with some fabulous reads.

Brad starts the conversation with his gratitude for coming down to NYC to meet with him. If anything I would fly over the moon for an opportunity like this. After I tell him about our travels, he expresses his appreciation to share with my husband for driving through the storm. He is such a compassionate man.  We then chat about our children and a little bit about the business. “Let’s get started…Show me what you got!”

[symple_box color="green" text_align="left" width="100%" float="none"] The Critique [/symple_box]

What resonates with me when I watch Brad review my images is how he emphasizes with the athlete. “More head trauma, only if they knew what they know now, unfortunately it makes a great shot.” Because I was trying to show my ability to capture prime action, many of the portfolio images were of collisions or impact.

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Brad then says, “Another great shot of a defender…there should be more of it.” I’m starting to understand that Brad want’s to see unique images and not what he sees come across his desk everyday.  He does mention that SI still needs the portrait of the QB and the story image.

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Brad seemed to enjoy my basketball night portrait the most. I have an entire collection of dunks and fun basketball portraiture that I would love to expand on. I actually feel it is my specialty above the rim, below and through the net [see more]. The Indiana gym photo- although Brad zoomed right into the garbage can-facial expression, general ambiance and frozen motion make him smile. “This is a great shot.”

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I feel I should have shown more variety in my photography. I have it, I just didn’t build my 20 images with this in mind for the initial portfolio review. Brad is a very busy person, but was generous with his time to see more.  Brad suggests that I shouldn’t show all my action cropped-tight with a 400. He acknowledges that I can shoot action, but to try a new perspective by lens or angle to make a more interesting image. Did I mention that I rock the fisheye!

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Now I’m beating myself up a bit because I didn’t show that one picture because I didn’t know he wanted to see it. I have the hardest time choosing. I was a little nervous, showed too much, possibly over processed a vignette on one image and even went into the wrong portfolio.  I wanted to show him my composites too, but focused on action. I over prepared. Brad wants to see me tighten up the portfolio. Live and learn, but what a time to have a teaching moment when you only have one shot….Literally! OK let's lighten it up a bit with some Dundas Blues Hockey Bobbleheads...

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Sometimes you need to feel failure in order to succeed. I still felt at ease because Brad has the most wonderful, kind and sincere demeanor about him. I think the title purely “Authentic” in front of his name is justified.

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He asks me, “What do I want?” A question that stimulates an electrifying response, “I want to shoot for you!” If you need someone to cover any Canadian events or Detroit or Buffalo…as a take a deep breath…The Pan Am Games are coming to Toronto and the NBA All Star Game soon. Brad explains the process and what SI will cover. OMG, then I hear, SI will get you credentials to shoot for us at the Pan Am Games. We will run a section and you can cover the Pan Am Games for Sports Illustrated. I am giddy like a schoolgirl, but trying to contain myself. I now have the most perfect opportunity to prove myself as a Sports Illustrated photographer. I have access to 36 sports with 7000 athletes in my own backyard venues. I can research, practice and prepare the most unique photographic images I have ever done. Most importantly I will be able to capture these elite athletes at a prime moment in their athletic career as I fulfill mine.

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Another gentleman comes to visit, Chris Chambers. Brad introduces us and explains Chris was an editor for Getty and edits the NBA, NFL and Motorsports for SI. We go into the boardroom and chat a bit about the industry. I then start to show Chris some of my photographs, more specific to football and basketball. Chris advises me that it’s about access and what is available to you.  He said, even though you are shooting amateur sports you are taking great photos. Hearing him say, “No doubt you can shoot” makes me so happy. Chris than spoke to me about layers. Everyone has a purpose to make the photo better. Fans create the energy; band makes you move, coaches direct the game and so on. Chris says he want’s to see the one blade of grass in the forefront of the photo leading up to the action and then the crowds reaction. I need to be responsible for everything in the shot. Even when the shot's not clean try to make it a part of the story. This conversation was very inspiring because I want to emote this in my photography always.

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Today as I review my photographs with fresh eyes, I understand how I can make my portfolio better.  I want to intrigue the viewer and make them stay in the moment- frozen in time. I want them to see something different, build an emotion through the layers and not take their eyes off my photograph. I am not afraid to fail, but anxious to experiment and achieve greatness in my photography. THANK YOU Brad!

My portfolio is always a work in progress! To view more photographs visit 500px or Behance  (Update in Progress)

A huge shoutout to all the amateur athletes who give it everyday, CIS, OCAA, OUA and McMaster football who allow me to capture the good, bad and the ugly. Thank YOU to all of my friends, family and colleagues who support me. I am very grateful for my young athlete followers and will always keep it real. Thanks for all the retweets, likes, favs and your encouragement. I want my kids and husband to be proud of me and love them for joining me on my special journey. Check out some of my colleagues great work. I appreciate the help with my portfolio selects: Matt Hernadez, Brandon Taylor, Scott Thomas, Hamilton Scores-Denis LeBlanc & Sean Healey.

I LOVE BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER! How bout a reality series for photographers like America's/Canada's Next Top Model EH?

TAG US #aerialpromotions @aerialpromotions #presentitphoto @presentitphoto

Social Media Please like us onfacebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { Instagramtumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2014 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more)

Images available now at www.Present it Photo.com

OCAA Hamilton Colleges Battle it out at Basketball Home Opener-Mohawk College

Royals gives Mountaineers a run for their money in court start

October 23, 2013 | Mohawk College-David Braley Athletic Centre | Mohawk Mountaineers (97) vs Redeemer Royals  (92) | OCAA Men's Basketball Home Opener Source: Article by Al Craig, Mohawk Athletics [Hamilton Scores]

It was a bit of a seat-squirmer in the first Ontario Colleges Athletic Association regular season men’s basketball game at the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre, but Mohawk got by visiting Redeemer, 97-92, Wednesday (Oct. 23).

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

The Mountaineers led 28-15 after the first quarter, but the Royals turned the tables in the second quarter, outscoring their arch rivals 28-18, which left the score 46-43 Mohawk at the half. The Mountaineers outscored Redeemer 25-23 in the third quarter, and the teams each scored 26 in a very competitive final period.

While Mohawk led for most of the game, the Royals put the issue in doubt when they pulled ahead 85-82 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Mountaineers were able to keep their composure in the final two minutes to get the narrow victory.

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Mohawk was led by Matt Fennell who scored 29 points. Then the points were spread out. Patrick Iavarone had 17, Andrew Cicuttini scored 14, while Xzennis Brereton and Alex Reis added 13 apiece. Cicuttini also had 19 rebounds and Taylor Dowhaniuk had 18 boards.

For Redeemer, Calvin Turnbull scored 34 points and had 10 rebounds. Ben Ibrahim scored 24.

Mohawk head coach Brian Jonker said his team scored just enough. “We gave up a whole lot but we scored a lot,” said Jonker. “Ultimately, we got out with a ‘W’ but we have a lot to clean up defensively.”

Jonker said Redeemer never went away. “They work hard and they’re a good group,” said the coach. “They made some shots that kept them hanging around.”

Reis and Fennell both had some key buckets in the game’s latter stages.

“Alex is sneaky,” said Jonker. “When we need him to score, he scores. Matt never stops moving, so he’s almost a mismatch for anyone that’s going to guard him with a guard. We got a break for a couple of late possessions when he was matched up with a guard and he took advantage of it and scored.”

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Fine tuning needed after Mohawk opens with win

October 23, 2013 | Mohawk College-David Braley Athletic Centre | Mohawk Mountaineers (86) vs Redeemer Royals  (69) | OCAA Women's Basketball Home Opener

Source: Article by Al Craig, Mohawk Athletics [Hamilton Scores]

The Mohawk women’s basketball team opened the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association regular season with an 86-69 triumph over the Redeemer Royals at the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre Wednesday (Oct. 23). But the 17-point win wasn’t always in the cards.

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

The Mountaineers and Royals played even in the first quarter, as each scored 16 points. The home team pulled ahead 33-23 at the break, but Redeemer came out of the gate smoking in the second half with a rally which included three consecutive three-pointers, without reply and suddenly were down only 37-35. Mohawk regrouped to lead 59-47 at three quarter time and then managed to maintain a healthy margin in the final period.

Stef Hrymak led the Mountaineer attack with 21 points and eight rebounds. Porscha Hewitt had 19 points while Natalie Fisher and Katelyn Arbour chipped in with 11 each. Arbour also led all rebounders with 10.

For Redeemer, Lindsay Moffat had 28 points and seven rebounds. Aycha Hamaoui scored 20 points.

Mohawk head coach Kevin Duffy said despite the win, his team played very sloppy basketball. “I give a lot of credit to (Redeemer),” said Duffy. “They played very well, they executed, they moved the ball well on offence and they hit the open shots.”

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

The coach felt his team had some opening night jitters and were a little tentative on the court. They also got into early foul trouble.

“We just made a lot of mental mistakes. There were a lot of breakdowns, both offensively and defensively and Redeemer capitalized,” said Duffy.

The coach noted it wasn’t all negative and he liked to emphasize the positive, such as the fact they scored more than 80 points. But the team will look at the video and deal with the defensive breakdowns.

“We’ll piece it back together and be ready for the next game,” said Duffy.

View all photographs here http://presentitphoto.com/mohawk_basketball_home_opener

____________________________________________________________________________________________ Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! NEW! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more) Images available now at www.Present it Photo.com

Redeemer Sends Three To Provincial Tourney

Source: Peter Reid, Redeemer Communications | February 2, 2013 [Hamilton Scores]

The Redeemer Royals are going back to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Provincial Badminton Championships after a strong showing at the West Regional Championships.

Julie Koopmans (Women’s Singles) and the pairing of Rachel Buys and Carla Hogan (Women’s Doubles) qualified for the main event. Koopmans finished round robin play with a 5-1 record over the course of the two days (Feb. 1-2). Her record was good enough to give her a second place finish in Pool B.

From there, she faced off against the top player from Pool A, Carol Delacera from Seneca College in the semi-finals. A 21-7, 21-12 loss saw Koopmans drop to the bronze medal match with the winner advancing to the provincial finals. In dramatic fashion, Koopmans defeated Danica Zwep from Fanshawe College, 21-16, 18-21, 21-19. Koopmans finished third overall against 14 competitors.

The Redeemer women’s doubles team of Hogan and Buys made the provincial championship by finishing third out of the seven teams represented. Playing in their first regional championship ever, they finished the tournament with a 4-2 record, losing only to the first and second place teams.

Redeemer’s men’s singles player Blair Hogan rolled through the round robin with a 5-1 record. Blair fell just short of qualifying for the provincial tournament after losing to the eventual champion, Humber’s Tim Chiu (21-10, 21-10) in the semis and then losing to Humber’s Chris Dupuis in a heartbreaking bronze medal match (21-18, 15-21, 21-14). Hogan finished fourth overall out of 14 competitors.

redeemer_blair_hogan Redeemer’s Blair Hogan fell just short with a fourth place finish. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

The Royals mixed doubles pairing of Janelle Koopmans and Dan Vandenboogard lost a disappointing tiebreaker after finishing the tournament with a 3-3 record. Seneca and Fanshawe also finished with a 3-3 record but the Royals failed to advance with Seneca winning the tiebreaker.

The OCAA finals will take place at Centennial College on Feb. 15-16.

Other Redeemer results from the West Regional Championship included:

Rebecca Woudstra, Women’s Singles, 2-4, fifth place Pool A; Stephen Bowler, Men’s Singles, 2-4, fifth place Pool B; Kaleb Antonides and Liam Johnson, men’s doubles, 1-5, sixth place.

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