High School Sports

Senior Portraits: Photo Essay By Dylan Goodman

(Dylan Goodman has done an outstanding job as a Ruden Report photographer this year. As part of her senior internship, she continued a project we revived last year during the pandemic, Senior Portraits, with creative photos of some of the best athletes from the Class of 2021. Along with a forthcoming project by another intern, we started with a list of about 50 athletes, trying to get at least two from each school and an equal number of males and females. Because of end-of-the-year conflicts we were unable to get to everyone, but the attempt was made.

Dylan will be attending Harvard in the fall to study music and political science. She is also an accomplished drummer.

Here is an introduction by Dylan and her internship project, Senior Portraits.)

From The Sideline

If you revealed to my middle-school soccer/lacrosse/basketball-playing self that, as a graduating high school senior, I would crave being on the sidelines of sporting events rather than on the field or court, I surely would have called you crazy.

As a kid, I was so disappointed in myself when I was taken out of a game — benched. I relished in the overwhelming adrenaline rush of scoring the game-winning goal and competing with my team to beat any rival.

As is typically the case, it was the on-field moments that I loved best and the sideline moments that I hated most. Now, a full about-face has evolved. I covet the opportunity to crouch and hunker down on the sidelines, my attention directed at not only the plays that are called and the pep talks that are given, but also on the passion and vitality that is exuded from each and every student-athlete across the state of Connecticut.

With my eye affixed to the viewfinder and my hand gripped to my camera, I am determined to seize a moment in time, instantly and forever capturing and compounding together a specific emotion, idea, message and memory into one image that emotes a plethora of the human experience — all from my cherished and prized position on the sidelines. 

I was first introduced to photography as a camper at sleepaway camp. With sweat beading down my neck, I started skipping scheduled activities like water skiing (which I did indeed love) to jump at whatever chance I was given to photograph the activity instead.

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Arriving home that summer, I knew I wanted to pursue photography. I reached out to and soon began working alongside Chris Greer, the professional responsible for photographing Staples High School’s athletic events.

Over the past three years, I also established my own business, Dylan Goodman Photography (shameless plug: dylangoodmanphotography.smugmug.com). Realizing my passion, I soon widened my scope to include new backdrops, one of which included The Ruden Report. Working with TRR, I have been given incredible opportunities to meet athletes, writers, photographers and parents from across the state. I have not only grown as a photographer while working for TRR, but I have also grown as a person. 

Being given the honor of creating a portrait portfolio of the most committed, talented and passionate athletes across the FCIAC by Dave Ruden was extremely exciting. Over the past month, I have traveled throughout Fairfield County, meeting athletes from different schools that play a variety of sports and are about to commence on their individual post-graduate journeys.

Employing my experience as a sports photographer and delving deeper into the mindset of specific athletes, I have developed a true understanding of the pure exhilaration, passion and sense of community that emerges from being an active participant in high school sports. 

Looking back on this project, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity and truly proud of the final product. Going from town to town and coordinating schedules with many busy high schoolers was far from an easy feat; however, with the help of Dave, the athletes and their coaches, as well as my friends and family, I am fortunate and delighted to present From The Sidelines: A Photo Essay by Dylan Goodman. Below is a compilation of one photo from each photoshoot. All additional photos can be found at dylangoodmanphotography.smugmug.com/From-The-Sidelines-with-Dylan-Goodman.

I am invigorated and eager to continue to revel in my favorite spot along the sidelines, shooting away with my eye focused on the prize: capturing the emotions that are a component of every fast action play. The location on the field that I despised the most has become the very same spot that I will continue to call home in Connecticut, at Harvard and for the rest of my life.