There’s something you won’t see at the CRA this year if you take in a Bandits game. After a couple of seasons as the official photographer for the Brooks Bandits, I have decided to step away from the role.
Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to watch the team develop over the last two seasons, and I’ve always loved shooting hockey. This decision was not made lightly, and I’ll explain why I decided not to continue this year.
People might think shooting a hockey game is easy. What fans see is someone toting a camera (or two, as I’m prone to do), and take photos for a couple hours. What is unseen is all the behind the scenes work. There’s hours of editing images, preparing and maintaining equipment, and most importantly, these hours take a photographer away from their family.
Number one was this family time. I’m a husband and Dad to four humans, and being away from my family was starting to take a toll.
Another aspect is the remuneration. Yes, this was a paid gig, and I did give the Bandits organization a decent discount for my services. I feel that this favour was not fully recognized.
A final issue that factored into my decision was how Hockey Canada handled the NJAC hosted here in Brooks. Now, they’re very controlling over anyone capturing and using images from the finals, but had no problem using my images during the regular season without credit or compensation. Once I noticed images were being used, I contacted Hockey Canada, and a credit was eventually added.
You can imagine how exciting it was to see our home team not only host but win the NJAC. However, a few days before the championship was to begin, I was not given acceleration, despite being the team photographer. I’ve heard Hockey Canada treat other team photographers the same way, and I was disappointed that the head brass within the Bandits organization didn’t make an effort to include me.
Ultimately, it is unfortunate that I must resign as team photographer. I truly love this level of hockey, but as with many things these days, management tends to get in the way. After I emailed my intent to resign, a reply came of a possible alternative solution. Curious as to the numbers the Bandits management was considering, I continued the conversation, but have yet to receive a reply. Really, how difficult is it to deliver a definitive answer.
I do wish the team all the best, we have some fantastic athletes donning the Bandits jersey again this year, and I encourage fans to get out to the CRA and cheer them on. Local hockey at this level relies on a solid fan base, and it was great to see so many friends and neighbours at the rink.
Ultimately, it was simply not feasible for me to continue for the reasons I’ve outlined.
Lots planned for the winter, so keep following my social media accounts for details! I’m most active on Instagram and YouTube.
Talk soon, Ryan.