Sunday, June 12, 2011

CPWC, and VFL Thunder event

Okay, I've got a few minutes where my wife is looking after Erik for me. I've got some photograph (highlights) from CPWC that happened June 3rd in Lancaster PA.

The day after I shot at Yankee Lake Brawlroom in Ohio, a bunch of my team was on that card. I'll get those highlights up next, but I wanted to touch upon what happened last evening in Maryland.

I photograph a lot of the VFL events. I was there to photograph this event for the media. That said, if any of you have ever photographed anything media-wise, you are generally told where you can, and cannot be. In this case, the hired help for the fight company knows me pretty well, and one of them told me my location. I figured from the get-go that this would be a tremendous problem, but you do what you're told. The reason this was a problem was, I was to photograph with my back to the main majority of the crowd that is in the stands/bleachers at this baseball stadium. Generally, I am out of site, and I hug one of the posts, that way, my body does NOT distract from the view. The best way to put it is, I'm about as wide as one of the padded posts for the cage. So if I'm up against one, you're not missing anything because of me. In this case, I certainly wasn't up against a post...I was in the middle of a fence section.

If any of you have ever seen a UFC event, you'll see that the UFC's HOUSE photographers (the ones that contribute directly to zuffa) are in the middle of a cage section, and if they are in the way of you...too bad, they aren't to move. While I was nervous about being up there, I also do not want to disobey the promotion and be thrown out on my ass.

On top of that, these fans were made to wait about an hour for the action to resume, after the first fight was stopped at the end of the second round because of the cage being rained in. The fights resumed, and though it was done raining, the rain had done its damage to the cage.

So after the rain stopped, a lot of the cage side fans had to move their chairs back off of the grass. So naturally they are upset, because if I spent that kind of money I would be mad at anyone who would listen to me complain. Now after this, I seen one of the staff members, employed by the ball field speaking with the police and he said, and I quote "if anyone is on the grass, throw them out, they are being assholes. No warnings".

So what I'm getting around to is, I was in a position where not only was I afraid to move because I could get into trouble by the promotion if they felt that way, I was afraid to move because EVEN THOUGH THERE WERE 30 or so people on the grass, I didn't want to be that lucky one that was arrested for it. So I asked one of the hired hands, "could you get me a ladder so I can go to the other side?" He went to get me a ladder, but the crowd was extremely restless and naturally they are angry, so who gets it? I did :(

Well the athletic commission decided that it was too dangerous for the fighters to they canceled the event. Now...the problem with this is, the fans are even MORE ticked off and they are ready to start a riot. The announcer gets smacked with a beer cup (or can, I didn't see the impact, just the result). It's like, it's not the announcer's fault! It's not the promotion's fault either, and it definitely isn't my fault.

When I was able to get down and speak to some of the fans, they understood where I was coming from. I said that I was told to be here, and I didn't want thrown out or in trouble for moving. Believe me, I sympathize with every single person there that night. I truly do. There was one guy who was saying he was going to "kick my ass", but after I explained to him and his crew, they understood that I wasn't trying to be a jerk. He even said "why didn't you move", and it's see that guy coming with the ladder? I asked for that!

So to everyone that didn't get to hear it from me yesterday, I truly am sorry. If it was a show where I wasn't afraid of being thrown out or arrested for going on the grass, I would have moved IMMEDIATELY. I was in the process of securing a new location when the commission halted the fights.

The only thing I can say is, it sure took the heat off of me when the fights were canceled. I honestly didn't think I was getting out of there in one piece. I just want you to know that it wasn't my decision to upset you fans. It wasn't my decision to be in your way and I was trying to get into a new position. I just couldn't do it in the middle of the round, because that's what I was there to report on.

Okay, enough of that. Here's the photo highlights from CPWC on June 3rd.

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