How to · People · Travel

Back in the saddle with a grin and some flare

A few months ago this 10th-grader broke her elbow on a soft motocross course. On Monday she was back on her Kawasaki KX250F dirt bike again. Sure, maybe she didn’t get as much air as before the accident and she didn’t hit the bermed corners quite as confidently as she could have, but this was her first day back in the saddle.

Monday started as a photo shoot for the school magazine, where she and a friend planned just to pose on the local motocross track. And maybe do a few slow laps. But as we shot, so her excitement at being back on her bike grew (along with her smile).

Have you ever watched a kid just having fun? It’s infectious. A teenager’s life is not easy I’m told – trying to understand one’s alien parents; trying to keep up appearances for one’s peers; trying to control emotions that are as easy to bring in line as a herd of cats. But out there on the course she didn’t care what anyone thought – she was just having fun playing.

“Can we try this next,” she would ask, before taking off to get enough speed to make her jump, or whatever.

And when she fell, she would grin and giggle, get up and try again.

“Maybe we should do one where it looks like I’m flying over another rider,” she suggested hopefully.

And hey, whatever she was willing to try, I was willing to shoot, even if it meant lying in the dirt to get the right angle. One of my cameras wasn’t as willing and jammed as I shot her flying by. Maybe it was all the dust. Maybe it was just clapped out. So, I shrugged, transferred lenses and shot with the other camera body.

As I’ve said a few times this week, it’s been my pleasure shooting people with smiles on their faces and a sparkle in their eyes; shooting people who revel in being shot as much as I enjoy doing the shooting…




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