I am such a girl. I constantly forget about what I’m doing when I take my 10 pound camera bag out to do a shoot. How? I’m not sure. But I always seem to wear very inappropriate clothing for the situation I’m in.
Case in point: It’s been snowing for the last two weeks. However, it’s been warmer lately and the snow has melted. And for some reason, this didn’t register in my mind when I was leaving Sunday, and I went out to shoot the Polar Bear Plunge, which is in a lake, in moccasins.
Man, I’m silly.
This isn’t the first time this has happened either. The first Missouri sporting event I shot was a women’s soccer game in the fall semester. The weather was nice, so I didn’t have to bundle up or prepare for rain. However, I was a new student and wanted to make a good impression – fashionably. Now, if I was going out to a party or out to lunch with the girls, I would have looked cute. This was not the case. I was shooting a soccer game, which I needed to sit in the grass during, and decided to wear a strapless cotton dress with leggings. Nice. Some of my colleagues have still not let me forget about that incident. Don’t worry - I’ve worn jeans and tennis shoes to every sporting event since then.
So, the minute I stepped into the parking lot at Stephens Lake Park where the Polar Bear Plunge was being held, I knew I was in trouble. The gravel parking lot was muddy – I trudged through the mud, anticipating the minute I stepped onto the nice, solid, cement sidewalk. And as I entered the crowd of people surrounding Stephens Lake, I knew I was even more in trouble than I had even realized; there was a broadcast journalist in front of me with a suit, tie and camouflage rainboots on. Nick King from the Columbia Tribune was also present in thigh-high waders that fly-fisherman wear. Crap.
As my moccasins sank deeper into the mud, my ego went with them. I was just going to have to suck it up, get my shoes and jeans dirty, and take pictures. So I did.
The Polar Bear Plunge is one of my favorite events during the year. People dress up in ridiculous costumes and run into freezing-cold February water to benefit Special Olympics Missouri. Individuals must raise $50 in order to participate and every year the numbers of people who come out to support this cause in a fun, and ridiculous, way impresses me.
I had a hard time getting names during the event because as people exit the water, they run to their cars to dry off and get warm. However, I managed to get enough names and group pictures to run in the paper and we actually pulled a feature page out of it, designed by Maura Howard.
Note to self: Next year, I will wear rainboots to the Polar Bear Plunge.