Vincent Laforet’s Blog

A Third of the Way Through: Time for a Little Introspection.
August 13, 2008, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Olympics
© Vincent Laforet

© Vincent Laforet


We’re about a third of the way through the Olympic Games as of the end of today – and I’ve always found this to be a good point to look back through the images I’ve made so far, and to make adjustments on how I will shoot from here on out.


15 Comments so far
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I read your full article in Newsweek blog. I’ve to say this is one of the most honest text I’ve read about photography. Kudos.
Thanks for sharing your open thoughts.

Comment by Jose-Miguel

Vincent, keep up the good work. I really appreciate you sharing your top photos with us, as well as letting us into your head as you shoot one of the most exciting events of this decade.

When I found out that you had begun blogging, I was thrilled. After seeing your work at the Eddie Adams Workshop, I knew you were just on a different level than most of the photographers out there. Reading this blog has further confirmed that. I think this is one direction that the photojournalism industry is heading. Sure every Joe and Mary can get a photo of the big news event with their P&S or their cameraphone, but can they tell a story, and continually keep people coming back for more quality photography? I think that’s where our role as photojournalists will shift. Less than just providing a photo and more towards passing on the experience. But then again, what does a 3rd year college student know about the industry?

I’m not sure if you remember me, but I was at the Eddie Adams Workshop 2 years ago, and told you that I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. I’ve continued to shoot for our school newspaper, and have been the photo editor there for 3 semesters. Moving into the new year, I have been struggling a lot with your same thoughts.

Being the editor at a small school newspaper, I’m pretty much in control of what goes in the paper visually. I’m the main shooter, so I go to most of the events. So what goes in the paper mostly comes down to what I think is a good photo. But going into my 3rd year, I’m starting to try to find something fresh to show the readers. Most of my sports photos (or anything, in fact) have started to meld together. Besides the faces in the photos, they all look the same. I can remember thinking to myself, “I stood here last year shooting this same event.” And going through the photos later, the same shots appear.

So this year is going to be a struggle to find those new angles or those different shots no one has seen before.

I’d just like so say thanks for sharing your thoughts and your perspectives, and being completely vulnerable. And while we may beat ourselves up for not getting “the shot” or not being fresh enough, I think we sometimes need to step back a second and realize how lucky we are. While some people are stuck in a cubicle all day drudging through life, we are out shooting and doing something we thoroughly enjoy. Not everyone is as fortunate as we are.

Great photos, and keep up the fantastic work. Can’t wait to read your next post.

Comment by Timmy Huynh


Your related article on Newsweek is one of the most insightful posts on sports photography that I have read in a very long time. I appreciate the time you took to write despite your insane schedule. Also glad to see your 135 survived the fall. It would be sad to see such a sharp and fast lens out of commission.

Comment by eriklunsford

Wow. Thanks for such a candid view into your thinking at this point in the games. In a way, I can relate in the struggle to find ones vision. In another, of course, I can’t even begin to relate because of the scale and magnitude of the games. I’ve been looking forward to every post from Bejing and now I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Comment by James Duncan Davidson

Wow. Your work is amazing. I blogged your mad skills.

Comment by The Actual Joey Himself

This should be compulsory reading for any person aspiring to shoot sports.
Needless to say, (in my opinion at least) this is one of the best contributions I have had the opportunity to read.
Many thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Comment by David


Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. I eagerly await to read your post every day and each time I have been rewarded with great shots and lucid writing, but this one is your best yet.

As a simple reader and viewer of photographs, I can tell you that the shots I like most are those that show the emotion of the athletes. The joy of the winner, of course, but also the sadness, the effort, the nervousness, the fear, the frustration, the relief. Show me the person behind those finely tuned muscles, show me the years of training, the sacrifice and the pride.

Many thanks again for your great work!

Ignacio from Argentina

Comment by Ignacio

I read. I understand. Do not overthink it. I appreciate the blog. get the picture. guy

Comment by PhotoGuyV

Great work and nice writing Vincent. Sorry this is repetitive. I gotta throw this one out, though … The Olympics is a mark in history for an athlete and a generation of fans. If we consider sports popular because it is the land of heroes, there is an interest to cement in time the emotional moment that tells a story. The arena is offering minimal opportunities for perfect light. There are challenging access options for different angles. Freeze in time the microsecond of drama for a dream to be built upon. Those seeking too hard for angles or chimping do well for the set designers in a 360-degree view, but years of training will explode in each event often in a face, but also in body english. Find a new gear and I look forward to the inevitable goods.

Comment by Rob Kerr


You are such a great photo journalist! We enjoy reading your blogs. Keep up the great work!!!

John and Teri

Comment by Teri Kavanagh

Vincent – Trust your instincts. It’s your intelligent perspective that we appreciate and want to see more of.

Comment by Julia


Keep it up. I’ve read every word and look at every image of each day’s post.

Sounds like you have too much going through your head right now. Doesn’t always sound like your enjoying it. You know what to do. Enjoy it!


Comment by Aaron

I’ve been enjoying your images so far!

Pondering your conundrum, it occurs to me that events split two ways.

Some events revolve around a decisive moment which overshadows all that has come before and since. Much as I love to see a well composed, brilliantly lit, perfectly timed photo, I love to see that moment too.

Other events may be less so dependent on any moment: A thrashing at basketball, a solid lead built steadily at cycling. I guess in those cases, looking for the best shot, not the less-important moment is the way to roll.

Just my tuppence.

Have a good olympics!

Comment by Neil

Since you’re one of the few photographers who will discuss technique while you’re on the job shooting, I wonder if you could explain to photo enthusiasts what master photographers mean when they say that there’s a difference between what the photographer sees and what the camera sees, and that a good photographer must learn to know what the camera sees. Thanks for those stunning images.

Comment by Michael Norman

Thank you for opening a window to your mind. It’s quite the view.
Love, Donna

Comment by Donna Malkin

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