It’s an exciting feeling when our passions collide. For Bev Childress, a love for action photography found a fortunate parallel in CrossFit. Now her focus is highlighting the emotion and determination of CrossFit and other sports.

 

Bev first discovered her love for photography as a high school student and athlete. Her dad had an old Pentax and she would bring it to sports tournaments and practices. In college she took basic photography classes, but the cost of pre-digital photography was prohibitive. Years later, Bev rekindled her love for photography, both with her favorite subject (her son) and her favorite sport (CrossFit).

 

 

Shooting athletics offers an opportunity for Bev to be both eclectic and artful, as she noted when asked what message her photography conveys:

 

I’m an eclectic soul, therefore I hope my photography will be the same. I know that we tend to fall into certain signature types of work, but many different things interest and excite me. And really, depending on my mood that day, a shoot may make a departure from the style I shot the day before. 

 

That being said, I do hope to bring a touch of art to my shots. People in the midst of movement are beautiful and being able to bring out the story of that movement to evoke emotion is the goal. A big thread that weaves its way through many of my shots is the fact that strength is beautiful. I hope my subjects walk away from viewing their shots with that feeling.

 

For Bev, one of the most rewarding aspects of photography is enabling others to see themselves enjoying their sport. As she explained, “Of course I love capturing the unusual or unexpected but I think the most rewarding part is hearing people excited to see themselves in action. A lot of my subjects have never seen themselves lifting a heavy bar or jumping on a box, so it’s a real kick for them to visualize that.”

 

 

As far as challenges go, Bev’s primary obstacle is one many CrossFit photographers seem to face: bad lighting. Bev uses a speed light to help counteract the horrible lighting in most CrossFit boxes. Beyond CrossFit and badly lit boxes, capturing sports also presents the unique challenge of timing, as Bev noted:

 

Action photography in general is challenging because, well, it involves action. They don’t stop a game for you to snap a few shots and you can’t reset the action so that you can capture that great moment. You have to keep with the action and keep your head in the game anticipating your next shot.

 

But for Bev, there’s a flip side to that obstacle. Shooting CrossFit and other sports provides her with a opportunity to be involved in the action in a unique way. That feeling of inclusion is Bev’s favorite part of action photography. “I’m not able to be competitive on a high level, but when I shoot competitive athletes I feel like a part of the struggle. I feel involved more deeply than just spectating. It’s exhilarating.”

 

Photos courtesy of Bev Childress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Bev Childress.

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