Truman High School’s Travis Brown reacts to pinning North Kansas City’s Brock Thomas in their 140-pound wrestling match on January 10, 1996.
Recently, I shot the 2010 Big 12 Conference Wrestling Championship. I thought of a photo I made almost 15 years ago and how much luck plays into every shot.
I was the photo editor at the Independence (Missouri) Examiner in 1996 and it seemed I spent most of my time in the newsroom developing story ideas with the editors instead of shooting photos. Most of our daily photos were taken by our two staff photographers. One night, our shooters were busy on assignments so I covered a wrestling match at a local high school. I remember that I had not shot wrestling all season and I felt out of practice. The match moved along through the 103, 112, 119, 125, 130 and 135-pound weight classes. After the 140-pound match, the winning wrestler looked up and reacted to the cheers from his coach and teammates. I shot the photo, but it’s always made me wonder, “what if?”
What if I had been on a different corner of the mat? What if I had been shooting with a different lens? What if I had assigned the match to another photographer? Since that photo, I have always believed that a little luck never hurts.