Monday, February 21, 2011

Panthers (Kids Day)

This afternoon the Islanders hosted the Florida Panthers. In honor of President's Day, more importantly the day many have off work and school, it was Kids Day at Nassau Coliseumm. Besides the multitude of families, the Coliseum also welcomed other special guests. The Presidents. Many people recognize them from the Washington Nationals' organization, but for this weekend they made the trip to Long Island to take part in a special Presidents Race on ice.

I figured that with so many families in attendance, taking enough pictures would be easier than usual. Especially once I got to the staff room and was told that there would only be two interns today instead of our usual five. Last week I mentioned the different jobs that are assigned for each game. Today, I was assigned 10 gates to go through in the arena and take pictures. In addition to those, I was also given the High Five area and one of the performances during an intermission. The High Five area is where certain fans can come down in front of the locker room and high five the Islander players as they come on the ice at the start of each period. We stand and ask if the fans would want pictures taken for the website. It's actually a pretty cool experience to see people up close that you watch on TV all the time. It's also really nice to see how differently each player interacts with the fans. Some are very focused and aren't really very energetic towards the kids while others seem to love giving them all high fives.

Even though the Coliseum was filled with a record high crowd for the season, I still had a difficult time getting pictures done. On a normal night, I can usually take about 50 pictures before the game starts. Today I think my total clocked in around 20 at the most. The concourse was very difficult to walk through because of all of the kids as well as Sparky AND the Presidents. Normally, you could walk up to people in the concourse and ask if they would take a picture. Today, there was a lot of people, which is usually a great sign for Fan Photo, but so many people on one place made it difficult to stop and actually ask anyone.
It quickly became time for me to go back to the staff area and I had barely gone through 3 packs of cards. Normally, this would be a pretty big problem but there was another opportunity to take more pictures. On afternoon games, the Islanders offer something special for the younger fans. After the game 3 nets are set up on each side of the ice. Kids are allowed to come onto the ice, shoot, and hopefully score a goal. Ideally there would be 6 interns taking pictures (1 for each net), but we only have 4 cameras so we have to make due. Today there were only 2 interns so we really needed to keep moving back and forth. Personally, I liked this part of the job much more than any of the other things I've had to do. For the post game goals, we just take candid shots of the kids shooting on the net and then tell them to smile for a picture after they're finished. It's much easier to go through lots of pictures and there's no frustration of being told no. Too bad there are next to no afternoon games.

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