At the end of August, during a family get together, I was approached by my soon to be brother-in-law about shooting some action photos for his tactical paintball and airsoft business in Rusagonis, NB (http://jesterstactical.com). I nodded, thinking... sure, I think I could handle doing that sometime.
About three hours later I found myself in my husband's truck, blinking, surrounded by black duffels filled with I didn't know what, going I didn't know where, holding my modestly equipped camera bag in my lap and thinking: "well... we better get there soon or we'll lose the light!".
Yeah, so much for "sometime".
Being the only paintball virgin in the vehicle, I really had no idea what to expect and most importantly (concerningly), I had no idea what the world of paintball wants in a photo.
Things I learned:
A paintball gun is called a marker.
A paintball field is not actually a field. It closely resembles a junk yard in which the junk is perhaps, somewhat, kind of strategically placed?
My sister is a badass.
Pallets are plentiful.
So is the colour black.
In all seriousness, despite a rocky start to my new venture, I had a ton of fun (minus the ravenous mosquitoes) shooting some action shots of tactical drills as well as capturing some stills. I was one hundred percent out of my comfort zone, photography speaking, but really enjoyed learning something new and trying my hand at tactical paintball photography.
Much to my surprise, my photos were extremely well-received within the paintball world. They were even featured in a Californian weekly podcast! To be perfectly honest, I was floored by the amount of wonderful comments and recognition these photos received.
Some of the skills and drills captured here were "dry", meaning no paint was involved, which is why my sister is maskless in some of the photos.
Safety first in the paintball world: another thing I learned.
Then came shoot #2.
My brother-in-law shared with me an idea he had... a "vision", shall we say, for a photo that included a swamp, some mud, some markers, and both him & my sister. Now this, my friends, was right up my alley. We packed up the fourwheelers, their gear and my camera (carefully!), and headed off in search of a disgusting body of water.
These photos came at a small cost (various wet body parts/articles of clothing, mosquito bites on top of previous days' mosquito bites, dodging small but questionable-looking swamp life) that was greatly outweighed by both the amount of fun we had together during the session (and the fourwheeling before & after!), as well as my delight at being chosen to capture such unique, badass, in-your-face, please-don't-hurt-me, how-are-you-swimming-around-in-that-swamp-right-now photos for an amazing local business that is truly flourishing.
As mentioned, Jester's Tactical Sports Centre is located in Rusagonis, NB (near Fredericton) and caters to all ages and skill levels. Don't let the badassery depicted here fool you; they have something for everyone.
After all, they are not just black-clad, marker-wielding, man-eating, tactical paintball people...
I have pictures to prove it: