I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I saw Nate Heinold’s email in my inbox, “are you available to photograph the Ledgestone.” Yes! Are you kidding me?! It had been almost two years since I photographed a big disc golf event and I felt like I had a fresh perspective on life and was eager to get back in the field and connect with old friends.
It's been so awesome to watch the Ledgestone Insurance Open grow over the years. The first year it started in 2011 I won the FPO division and have photographed it almost every year since. Nate Heinold clearly has a vision for the event and each year it just gets better and better. What makes this event so unique is the deep roots it has with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and this year, $20,000 was raised to donate to this charitable cause.
There will be more of my photos available to view on the Ledgestone Insurance Facebook page as well. These are the stories that I wanted to tell in my own way. I focused on photographing the Female and Men's Pro Open divisions each day during the tournament as well as the Flymart, Press Conference, Pro Clinic and Play with the Champs.
To make it easier to find items from the event, click on the linked photographs below to be directed to each blog post:
Since everyone always ask what the numbers are: I took over 6,000 photos (and you only get to see a little bit of that), drank a gallon of water each day (5 gallons total, it was hot) + gatorade/powerade, drove 2.5 hours from home to get there, ate the best California Turkey Cobb sandwich on Sun Dried Tomato bread from Great Harvest Bread Company in Morton, bought out all the Nerds Ropes at Kroger for giveaways. Made super packs of fresh fruit on the final day for a few lucky media people. So much about this is staying alive, I say this jokingly and for real. The media people out there work the hardest to get the job done and then work overtime to get it posted in real time. If you see a media person out there, sometimes the best thing you can do for them is offer them a snack or follow them on the links below.
Like athletes practice for a big event, I put in some practice time and covered the Jomez Final 9 tournament at Dellwood Disc Golf in Lockport, IL to prepare for Ledgestone (and see all those smiling faces of course). Click on the photo below to see that blog post.
Alyssa VanLanen is my photo sister, loved working with her in the field. Always smiling. She isn't just about pictures though, she's killing it with her YouTube channel or link up to her Instagram page by clicking the image below.
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