Thursdays I ordinarily play basketball in Playa Del Rey. Last week at the soccer field next to the courts, there was a shoot going on with a decent size photo and video crew and one key talent. As I glimpsed the scene, I was estimating the shoot cost (though I’ll never know the true number). Shortly after the epic basketball clash was over; the shoot was over. My friend and I were talking Paul Bunyon tall tales with locker room twists and the soccer player walks towards us and asks, “Who won the game?”

Mia Hamm kicked a ball 572 feet away from me while I was killing bank shots on the court.

My son had just started his first season of AYSO the week or so prior and I had soccer questions. I let it go though. I knew it had been a long shoot for her as they were shooting before I had even gotten to the courts. “We both won. We’re still alive and there are no clouds in the sky,” was my answer. We waved each other off and she left the park. Her demeanor left a good impression on me. She was laid back and personable. It was Mia Hamm.

When I see known people, I tend to treat them as Joe-anyone. They are Joe-anyone to me. I don’t know how that comes off to them. I guess it depends on the person. Plus, I’m frequently celebrity ignorant so depending on the type of celebrity I might very well not know who they are. The flip side of that is that I have had a dire drought of high profile shoots this year and recently that gulf has had that Glen Gary Glen Ross Always Be Sellin’ maxim blaring in my head when I don’t pounce on opportunity (referencing the portfolio reviewer that suggested I add a few more celebrities). Ultimately, I’m a proponent of Leave-me-alone-ism and sniffing up on someone’s leg every moment isn’t my speed. By the way Mia Hamm, I won 5 games to 1 because I’m a bad mot… You know the rest.

What was interesting about the shoot, in observation, was how simplified the photo side of it. They got a lot of looks in basically using a butterfly and a big honking scrim. One light attached to the camera. Boom for the audio. Some shoulder-mounted camcorder.

So instead of shooting Mia Hamm, two days later I shot my son’s 2nd organized soccer game. AYSO is interesting as it is a volunteer organization. Seeing the families/friends out there watching their kids bop around and torpedo each other in the field is communally energetic. I feel fortunate that the team my son wound up on has that rah rah-cultured enthusiasm that my T-1000 personality doesn’t allow. The coaches are making certain that everyone is treated equally and that it is all about the kids. Every team doesn’t seem that way 100% but for the most part I’d say the waves of energy and support that the kids get is great to see so I will probably put a little more volunteer time into AYSO next year beyond shooting my son’s games (Arguably, I’m volunteering now as I provide pictures of games to the team website). *Edited to add a title and two parenthetical phrases given my sleep-posting wreckage that this represents.

Run, Green Jaguars!

Run, Green Jaguars!

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