Fun with the Women’s Volleyball Team
I thought you’d enjoy seeing a few photos from a shoot we did yesterday involving the Penn State women’s volleyball team, who recently won their second straight national title. The photo shoot was great fun—the players loved it and we loved it—and the results will appear in our March-April issue.
The idea goes back to December, when the Penn State women had just won the national championship and we were talking about how we should cover them in the magazine. This is a team that had gone through the season undefeated and some people were calling them the best women’s volleyball team in the history of the sport. We felt we ought to do something, but not an ordinary season wrap-up. For one thing, any story we did would appear a full three months after the national championship game.
Somehow, I don’t remember how, we got the idea to do a photo-driven story. We hired Bill Cramer ’85 as the photographer—he’s done a lot of great work for Philadelphia Magazine, and for us too—and asked him to do almost a Vanity Fair-type glamor shoot, one that also captures some of the team’s playfulness and spirit. Bill came up from Philly yesterday, along with two assistants and a makeup artist (a first for us!); the players showed up in their dressy clothes; and Bill spent about three hours shooting them against a white backdrop on the main gym floor at Rec Hall.
We’re still not sure exactly what the story will be called, how it will look, or what the copy will say. But I know we got some great photos yesterday.
Oh, and one player couldn’t be there for the shoot—Christa Harmotto is student-teaching in England—so we hired a photographer in England to shoot her against a very similar backdrop, and we’ll somehow stitch her in. (We’ll include a note to this effect in the magazine, I’m sure; we have no interest in deceiving anyone.)
Below is a one-minute video clip I shot of Bill choreographing just one of the shots; the players in it are Kelsey Ream (in the blue shirt) and All-Americans Megan Hodge (red shirt) and Nicole Fawcett. Fawcett was the national player of the year.
Tina Hay, editor