Four years ago Austin Carfi, a senior at Ridgefield, shot a photo essay of senior athletes as part of his internship with The Ruden Report.
After showing it to someone earlier this month I had an idea: let’s do it again and make it an annual event. Two of my photographers, Matt Dewkett and David Whitham, agreed to do the heavy lifting. It was a forum for their creativity, and they had gone two months without any sports to shoot.
This led to Senior Portraits, Class of 2020. Matt and David did phenomenal work, more so given the constraints from a pandemic. Austin went to different schools, fields and sports venues. We were able to do none of that. And the photographers had to be distanced from the athletes.
We set up last Wednesday-Friday afternoons at Jesup Green in Westport, which was fairly centrally located, offered a number of great backdrops and, since it is one of my walk routes, I knew did not get overly crowded. The 29 athletes involved could not have been more cooperative — and appreciative.
One note to head off what no doubt will be a complaint from readers: why do some schools have three athletes and some none. I invited one or two athletes from every school. In just a few instances, athletes did not show up at the times they signed up for, did not follow up after agreeing to be included or did not respond. We tried and sometimes did find replacements, but this was all put together and executed in five days. I have several athletes that work for me and I wanted to include them, which explains why a few schools have three subjects.
We attempted to have athletes from a number of sports represented. We are also in the middle of a video project that will allow us to attempt to get to more athletes and sports.
Thank you to all the athletes that took part. Their cooperation made this a seamless endeavor. Most of all, thanks to Matt and David for their tremendous work. They put in a lot of time and effort, and it shows. And in coming full circle, the introductory graphic was designed by Austin, who just graduated from UConn, has started his own media company and will continue as a regular contributor here.
We will run second shots of everyone tomorrow on The Ruden Report Instagram account.
Here are the Senior Portraits, Class of 2020.