Wisconsin School for the Deaf Football – Part 2

Here’s the full edit from the 5 or so times I photographed the Wisconsin School for the Deaf football team.

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Each time I photographed them I struggled with same problem I brought up in my earlier post: how to convey silence in a photograph. I still don’t think I absolutely achieved it, although I think I came close with the tight shot of the player’s hearing aid.

The process of working on this project was incredibly rewarding for a multitude of reasons. My main contact at the school, Maria, was absolutely amazing in providing me with information about the students and coaches, not to mention her flexibility with interpreting and dealing with me showing up out of the blue in-between my other assignments.

Each time I photographed the players, either at practice or games, I was stunned by their awareness of their surroundings. There were many times I would cover my ears during practice to get a sense of not being able to hear the players’ footsteps. Frankly, playing football in that type of environment would be terrifying. Their ability to go out on the field and give it their all was pretty inspiring.

From a professional standpoint, finishing this project was a great learning experience. To spend as much time as I did – from brainstorming the idea, making connections, committing the time, piecing the story together in my head and editing it all together – was exactly the experience I wanted to take away from my internship.

Most importantly, it solidified something I guess I already knew…I love doing these long-term projects. They are much more meaningful for everyone involved.

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