While many may see sports photography as my forte – and it certainly is one of the things I most enjoy shooting – I do other things too. And that is one of the concerns that I have encountered shooting journalistic pieces for people, is they want to make sure that I can do things aside from sports and action. So after some communication with the Tallahassee Democrat staff photographer, about photography, freelancing, and maybe eventually a part-time photo spot, I was asked to photograph the FSU Graduation Saturday morning, 12/12/15.
I shot about 240 images, kept about 40, and submitted 37. And this was one of them.
The commencement speaker for the Saturday graduation was Gene Deckerhoff. I’m not even a huge football fan, but I’ve known who Deckerhoff was for quite a while. I remember my father turning football games on the radio in our truck, and listening to Deckerhoff’s frantic, excited commentary. Some may not approve of Deckerhoff as a “good” or “appropriate” commencement speaker for whatever reason, but I can certainly say (having skipped my high school graduation) that had I been graduating, I would have been extraordinarily pleased.
Now, this picture. Deckerhoff, one of the most iconic radio voices in the last twenty-plus years, and known colloquially as “The Voice of Seminoles.” He was narrating one of the most famous plays he had ever called, and exclaimed: “TOUCHDOWN FSU!!! TOUCHDOWN FLORIDA STATE!!! TOUCHDOWN SEMINOLES!!!” And the woman in the foreground is signing for the deaf, or hard of hearing.
This image just really spoke to me. Again, I didn’t grow up a football maniac, and I’m certainly not one now, but I did grow up in Tallahassee, with two FSU Alum as parents, and I CERTAINLY grew up listening to Gene Deckerhoff. And to me, the irony of this woman trying to convey the enthusiasm and power that Deckerhoff’s voice carried, to people who may have never felt the passion that Deckerhoff emotes was both humorous, sad, and deeply touching, all at the same time.
So I’m not really sure if that was clear, but I wanted to write a bit about this image for y’all to read, and I hope it came through how and what I was thinking about.
So, best regards, and as always, I hope you enjoyed this!