BLFS Cinderella Story: Kevin Sousa

We have always claimed, but we rarely showed the proof.  There is a reason why we ask you to become a Patreon backer, because we do actually help people succeed in the harsh and dangerous world of sports photography. Therefore we decided to show you the evidence that what we do actually works. Something similar to those diet pills online, but better because it costs much much less.

Meet Kevin. This is his BLFS Cinderella story:

My name is Kevin Sousa and up until about 2 years ago, I was a high school business teacher.  My kids were playing recreational sports (soccer, hockey, dance) and I felt like I needed to do something along the sidelines to keep myself busy.  I’m not a yeller or cheerleader, I’m an observer that wanted to document the moments that seemed to be flying by too quickly.  I picked up a camera and learned very shortly that it isn’t as easy as many make it look.  I enjoy learning new things, and immerse myself in them to the extreme.

Online, I found Ryu’s soccer photos via flickr and was super impressed by his talent.  I had never seen soccer photos like his, and I have been an avid soccer fan my whole life (I actually feel weird calling it soccer and not football, to be honest).  His photos blew me away.  They are fantastic.  They are unique and out of the ordinary.   His eye was incredible.  I couldn’t believe some of the creativity that he displayed in capturing the beautiful game.

In following his account, I discovered the podcost entitled Big Lens, Fast Shutter.  It was in listening to this podcast that I was introduced to Matt Cohen and his work.  Matt is the finest rodeo photographer in the world!  His “under the brim”  series was amazingly clever and inspired me to keep working at improving my own style.

Big Lens Fast Shutter and its podcast have taught me so much.  I have gone back in the archives to listen to every single episode (at least once).  The guys are entertaining and I would recommend all photographers listen to it to find out about all the behind the scenes of assignments and the techniques they use to perfect their photos.

The best part of the podcast is the training ground where a member can submit their photograph via the group’s page and Ryu and Matt will critique their work and inevitably make an aspiring photographer cry with their brutally honest opinions and criticisms.  As much as it hurts to hear that your photos suck, it is imperative to make you strive to be better.  I still remember the first time Ryu “liked” one of my photos – what a huge sense of accomplishment for me.  Not only will they critique your work, both Ryu and Matt have personally helped me in my journey to becoming a professional sports photographer.  From suggesting camera bodies and lenses to how to navigate the world of agencies and acquiring clients, their help and experience have been invaluable.

In the last two years my journey as a photographer has taken me from the local football (soccer) pitch to covering an Euro2016 Qualifier in Portugal. I’ve had the opportunity to cover world class sporting events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the 2015 Pan Am Games. My photos went from only being seen on Flickr to being viewed on different media outlets from Canada to places I wish to travel to one day like Sweden. I went from shooting for no money, to working for outlets like USA Today Sports Images and Getty. From no clients, to working for companies like NHLPA, Canadian Football League and Turner Broadcasting System (TBS). And just recently, I was contacted by the new Toronto Maple Leaf’s team photographer and offered a position as a second shooter.

None of this could have happen without Big Lens Fast Shutter.

So thank you to Ryu, Matt and all my new friends from BLFS. Now, off to the local hockey rink to practice and work on my game because I really want to avoid the PAIN!

Thank you,

Kevin Sousa 

Kevin before BLFS

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Kevin after BLFS

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Big Lens Fast Shutter is funded solely from the pockets of Ryu Voelkel and Matt Cohen. If you think the information we give you about sports photography is making you a better sports photographer and as a result a well balanced human being, please show us your appreciation by supporting us on Patreon and send some of your hard earned dollars/euros/Brixton pounds our way. People who donate will be mentioned on our next show unless you want to remain anonymous. Thank you for supporting us and may the force of sports photography be with you, always.

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