Advice and help on becoming a world class photographer by Sports Photographer Vince Rush

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I am not in the “Photography Business”!

Monroe Hornets High School Baseball photos by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photographers. Vincent Rush is an award winning published sports photographer based out of Monroe Ohio

Monroe Hornets High School Baseball photos by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photographers. Vincent Rush is an award winning published sports photographer based out of Monroe Ohio

“Hows your photography business going?”, I am often asked. I like to say, “I’m not really in the photography business. I’m in the “memories” business!”

Obviously that always brings the perplexed look and the invitation to elaborate.

I was recently discussing with a group of business colleagues the subject of pricing and amount of work that, in their opinion WAS NOT out there and in my opinion WAS available.

I went on to explain it this way; When a Mom or a Dad wants something special of their athlete playing their sport of choice, they have a few options.

1) Use their own camera with their “Kit Lens” or their “Point and Shoot”.

2) Hope that the minimum wage people at Life Touch Studios, that only shoot one angle, all the time and try to get as many “snap shots” as they can for the school year book, get one of their kid.

3) Hope the local newspaper has a decent photographer that day that covers the game

or the final alternative; Hire a professional sports photographer that understands the sport, angles, composition and works for the right shot.

I had one of my non photography business associates ask how I could charge so much to go shoot one kid playing a single game.

I asked him if he had any shots of of his kid playing baseball on his I Phone. He did and gladly showed them to me. I then pulled out my phone, went to my website http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com and showed him THIS gem.

I said..”THAT’s why a parent pays me to come shoot his kid in an event. I then showed him shot after shot of the same type of action shots that I had captured for clients.

I said to my friend, “The parent is not paying me to take pictures of his kid. He is paying me to create memories and give him something for his wall that no one else has of their kid”.

The next time someone calls you and inquires about your pricing, ask them a question before you throw out a price. Ask this simple question, that causes them to think.

“Pricing? well that depends. Are you wanting pictures or are you wanting memories? If you just want snap shots, I’m probably not your person. If you want something special that will still awe you 20 years from now, I might be your person”

THAT… is the difference!

Vincent Rush

You Only Get One Shot! That’s Why You Hire a Professional Photographer.

Donnie Nicodemus drives to the basket as Mom stand and cheers in the background, during SWBL Championship game.

Donnie Nicodemus drives to the basket as Mom stand and cheers in the background, during SWBL Championship game.

 

I get phone calls all the time from a Mom or a Dad, asking me to give a price to come out and photograph their son or daughter playing a particular sport or a coach will call me to come and shoot a team in an event.

My prices are not the cheapest. I generally charge between $250-$400 per event, depending on the circumstances.

While I don’t get a lot of resistance to my pricing, due to the reputation I have as a sports photographer, I still occasionally do get the; “Wow, That’s pretty high!” 

My response is always one of two questions, depending on what mood I am in.

Response one: “Are you referring to price or cost?” or two; “What criteria do you normally use, when choosing a professional sports photographer?”

Are you paying for photos or are you paying for memories?

If you are simply buying pictures then find someone with a camera from Best Buy and give them $25 and let them post 400 shots on their website.

However, if you have a special occasion and you want it captured for a keepsake, you need a professional.

When you hire a professional sports photographer to shoot action photos of a sporting event, you are not only paying for their time and effort, you are paying for their experience, knowledge of the game flow, understanding the angles and game momentum and anticipation.

You’re paying a professional sports photographer for their professional grade cameras with extreme low light capabilities. You’re renting their high speed professional grade lenses that can run $8000 to $10,000.00.

I’ve shot tens of thousands of action photos in little league baseball, select ball, football, basketball and other sports.

Every now and then I capture a moment like this.

Eaton, Ohio 8th grade basketball player Donnie Nicodemus was driving to the hoop in the Southwestern Buckeye League Championship game in Camden, Ohio at Preble Shawnee High School recently.

The lighting in the gym was not the worst I’ve shot in, but it wasn’t good either.

I was shooting a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8 lens and 5000 ISO and 1/800th of a second.

When I grabbed this frame and looked at the image, I realized that I had gotten Donnie’s Mom in the background.

This wasn’t just a picture, but rather a lifetime keepsake for Mom and son.

There is no greater satisfaction as a professional sports photographer than presenting a parent with a shot like this. I’ve shot a lot of pictures of Donnie as a result of little league photography. One I shot of him this past year was this pitching photo, with the Eaton Express, which became one of my favorites.

VCR_0106

 

Why do you pay a professional photographer vs “Mom or Guy with Best Buy camera”, you don’t pay a professional for pictures and images. You hire a professional for memories that will hold a special place in your heart and soul for years to come.

 

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

Vincent Rush is a an Ohio based professional sports photographer that primarily serves as a Dayton Sports Photographer and  Cincinnati sports photographer.

 

 

 

High School Freshman Celina King scores 1000th Point!

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a King, a Freshman at Cincinnati Christian, drive past a Cincinnati Christian Schools defender and scores her 1000th point on January 26th, 2013. 

 


Celina has actually been a starting Varsity point guard in High School since she was 12.
While previously at private Christian Schools, including Spring Valley Academy in Dayton, she is now in her first year at an OHSSA sanctioned school.

More amazing than her basketball skills, is the amount of books that she had read, by the time she was 12, that deal with having a PMA, Winning and going after your goals. Celina is one of the most well balanced and humble kids that I have ever met and is a little Pistol Pete Maravich on the court.
As a Cincinnati Sports Photographer, I met Celina and her family in 2010 and was blown away by her personality, sense of humility, maturity level and work ethic.
I spoke to an ESPN editor at a holiday tournament the first time I was hired to come photograph her and was told by a gentlemen named Mark Lewis of ESPN Hoop Girls at the time, that there are lots of kids with incredible unique abilities, but there are probably only 4 or 5 kids like a Celina King.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

 

Faces In The Crowd

By Ohio Sports Photographer, Vincent Rush

Are you shooting sports photography to earn a secondary income, or are you shooting sports photography because it’s a hobby that you have no intention of ever expanding into a business?
If you are doing it to earn an income, and are like most aspiring sports photographers, you shoot a Friday night or Saturday football game and capture hundreds of action shots and run home to your computer and upload your favorites to a website such as Smug Mug www.smugmug.com and then sit back and hope the cash starts coming in.
You will also notice that there are several other photographers at your local events, with the same intentions.
I’ve always said, live by the philosophy of “Observe the masses and do the opposite”
One of your “hidden treasures” in any high school event is the kids in the crowd.
I consistently sell more 5×7’s and 4×6 prints form my journeys up into the stands that the actual game photos, simply because…NO ONE ELSE DOES!
There is a secret though, don’t just fire off snap shots that anyone with an I-Phone can capture. Be a little creative and always take a second to make sure you don’t embarrass anyone kid or post up some idiot that is flipping the finger in the background.
Oh. Yeah…I’ve saw worse than that in the background of some of my photos! Examine them carefully. There’s an idiot in every crowd.
I particularly take care to remove bad acne in a shot like that. I do not want a kid with a developing self image to be made fun of by his peers so I am very meticulous in taking care of that detail before I post a picture.
If you don’t want to sell the pics, but still want the efforts to produce fruit, post them on a local kids or schools Facebook page.
Kids will tag themselves and share the photos, garnering you some free “Brand Exposure”.
Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

I’m An Incredible, Amazing Photographer!

“Protect this House” by Cincinnati, Ohio Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Cincinnati Sports Photography

By Vincent Rush, Ohio Sports Photographer

Ok, not really!

I was just echoing the most overused quote on Facebook, regarding photographers.

It’s school season and more specifically “Senior Portrait” season and among my very close and personal 1400+  Facebook friends, I am constantly seeing photos posted, either great, good, average or just plain poor, with someone’s name and the word “Photography” attached to it.

Then of course the subject or parent goes on to describe what an “Amazing Photographer” said individual is.

As a photographer myself, I am always amazed at some of the pictures that aspiring “photogs” allow to be posted in an effort to establish their brand and style.

In today’s world of photography, with camera technology and lighting techniques along with a basic understanding of Photoshop or other editing software, anyone can take acceptable quality portraits and produce a picture that any Mother would love.

I have never claimed to be anything special, other than an exceptional sports action photographer. I know my niche and what I’m good at.

Every photographer should take inventory and know what their true talent is…as well as what it’s not!

And even at that, I know the real secret to being a “Great Photographer” is in knowing what to delete and what to share with the world.

When I began building my brand, which is more important than building a business because without the brand, the business can’t survive, I was very protective about what I shared with the public.

That discretion allowed me to build my value and identity as a sports photographer.

Every “Photographer” I see on Facebook, has a few great shots that I myself wished that I had shot. However, I often see those pictures sandwiched in between mediocre snap shots that anyone with a “Point and Shoot” could have captured.

I am also seeing, in my opinion, waaaaay too many snap shots posted with a watermark identifying the picture as property of, “XYZ Photography”.

Is everyone with a camera today a professional?

I can however, also appreciate anyone trying to build a little business and produce additional income in today’s economic climates.

I admit, I had no traction in 2006, when I was given a Nikon D2x, as a gift and began shooting for the first time since 1990.

There was also no Facebook or social media back then, so I cannot say that I would have not taken the same route.

But even back in the day, I was very careful about what kind of pictures I exposed on my website and handed out at ball games.

Two good examples of what not to do come to mind;

I have a photographer friend that shoots a lot of low budget weddings and senior portraits.

Now my friend has really improved on their skill and mastery of lighting over the past couple of years and is really starting to do some outstanding work.

However, my friend also keeps damaging their “Brand” by publicizing some really, how do I phrase this…gnarly pics. By gnarly I am implying…non attractive photos of things like, overweight brides in unflattering dresses with even more unflattering tattoos, unless you’re a big fan of “Honey Boo Boo Child”

They are wedding pictures and Senior photos that may be only attractive to the Mothers of the photographed…if you know what I mean.

It’s OK to shoot those, and if your client is happy, that is all that really matters. However,  photographer should use a fair amount of discretion on what to “Share with the World”!

There is a reason Victoria’s Secret does not put the women who actually buy their outfits in their catalogs, much in the same way Canali or Armani would not put ME in theirs!

Another example is a local sports photography business, consisting of two guys in my community.

They will cover a sporting event for football or baseball and while they capture some great images, they then dump 400 pictures from the game on their Smug Mug site, forcing a parent to have to sift through to find a photo worth paying $15-20.00 for.

I have had good success carving out a niche to where I rarely do general game coverage anymore.

Most of my business is now “client shoots”, where a parent hires me to come and cover their kid or their team for an entire game.

The price for these events I do range anywhere from $300-$400.00.

I then present the client with a CD of edited…I REPEAT…..EDITED photos and keep the total to between 60-80 shots.

I have a website at http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com that has numerous examples of sports photography and illustrates what I am talking about.

I also get asked every year to do a handful of senior portraits for $500, of which I provide 4 poses, on location, and present a CD to the parents. I typically do about 5 a year.

I asked one of my friends recently, what they charge for the same thing and twice as much work, when it came to senior portraits.

While I never got a clear answer, I assume it was around $250-$300, forcing them to shoot 8.3 jobs compared to my 5.

This friend commented that is was hard to get that kind of money in a small town. While I noted that I lived in a smaller town, I pointed out that it’s not the size of the town, but rather it’s the perceived value of the service rendered. That value has been diminished, not because they are not talented, but because they are not particular about what they post as their calling cards.

So determine, what you are worth and what to you want your value to be perceived as? They are in fact two different things.

By the way, two GREAT sports photographers that I admire in Sports Photography is a guy by the name of Rick Lohre @ http://ricklohre.com and Barb Trimble @ http://trimphotoandvideo.com/

And two Cincinnati photographers that I really like in portrait photography are Moon Beam Studios @

http://www.moonbeamstudios.co/seniors.php and JMM Photography @ http://jmmphotography.us/

Happy Shooting! Vincent Rush, Cincinnati sports Photography

The Marketing Mindset of High Growth Business Leaders

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Valley View Spartans Football by Ohio Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

Marketing is often misconstrued as little more than advertising – lots of brands jumping up and down and shouting as they try to grab potential customers’ attention. Done right however, marketing will cover every touch point of your business from raising brand awareness (where advertising is often a good tool), to activities that develop trust, drive trial, encourage repeat sales and incentivize them to tell their friends about you.

The key is to create a strong marketing strategy, and the starting point for building such a strategy is to challenge the way you might think of marketing and develop a marketing mindset as part of your business culture.

Think of marketing as everything that touches your customer

One of the biggest challenges facing any CEO wanting to use marketing to grow their business is the fragmentation within the industry, which makes it difficult to navigate successfully, especially with limited budgets. As a result, marketing often ends up consigned to pockets of unaligned activities that fail to deliver their full potential.

Instead as a founder, business owner or appointed marketing person you need to become the linchpin that holds it all together.  PR, branding, advertising, social media, content marketing… they are all just some in a long list of potential marketing activities that can be implemented to your advantage. But it is vital to think of them as being under one umbrella of ‘marketing’ so that everything talks to your customer in the same way; if you don’t the messages gets confused and diluted.

The most successful customer–centric businesses broaden this principle even further and look at every part of the business that comes into contact with their customer.

The passion and knowledge (or lack thereof) which your staff shows for your business and brand are often the customers first in-person interaction and form the front line of your marketing strategy- first impressions really do count!

By thinking of these areas as being under the same marketing umbrella it will make it easier for you to define what should be done and said to customers at every touch point. If you want some inspiration, think Virgin Atlantic, think Zappos, think Apple– they work to make every contact with the customer a good one and the result is loyalty.

Make every business decision with your customer in mind

Those founders, CEOs and managers who actively encourage and embrace a marketing mindset within their teams have the ability to not only understand their customers but also identify new opportunities to grow their business and achieve that all important 20% year on year growth that is the hallmark of a high growth business.

To have a truly customer-centric business mindset there first needs to be a very clear picture of exactly who you are talking to. How succinctly can you describe your customer? Where do they live? Where do they shop? What do they do? What do they read and watch? Who influences them? Can you get a clear mental picture of them as one person? Build your customer profile and that picture can be used to guide the fundamental decisions in your business.

A great example of this customer-centric business approach is five year old Moma breakfasts – founded by Tom Mercer. Tom knew that the fundamental business decision he faced was in understanding where to sell his healthy on-the-go breakfasts and that to do this he needed to get in the mind of his target customers.  He was clear that his new product was all about solving the hunger pains of busy rushed commuters – so he refused to launch the brand until he got his first stall at the end of the platform concourse at Waterloo station – exactly where his hungry commuters were.

Be bold about your brand

Every successful business will get copied in one form or another. That is why business leaders with a strong marketing mindset create brands – not just products. If you create a brand that means something to people…with values, and an identity…competitors will be deterred from copying you and customers will have a reason to stay with you.

Innocent drinks for instance have seen a multitude of competitors entering their market, including many lower priced supermarket versions. But they continue to grow – both in the UK and by expanding into new international markets. Fundamentally, this is down to that brand personality that lives on those little bottles and in everything they do which drives an emotional attraction in that three second decision at the chiller.

The reality is that a brand is so much more than a logo. The most powerful brands mean something to people; they have values and are emotionally attractive to their target audiences. This first starts by identifying what you want your brand to stand for, and what it should stand for to be compelling to your target customers. These questions begin to force decisions about what you want to mean to your target audience. Once you are clear on what you want to mean – you can build a marketing plan to start saying it.

Remain wholeheartedly focused on the end goal

One of the biggest challenges of managing marketing in an ambitious business is the wealth of options open to you – and the confusion they cause. Plus when faced with exciting marketing ideas, new technologies, and a limited budget, it is easy to become distracted and want to try everything. This is when businesses into the trap of being execution led – rather than objectives led – leading to stretched resource, wasted money and sometimes disappointing results.

Starting out with a clear idea of what you want to achieve is key to avoiding these pitfalls. So, before you do anything, first assess what you want to achieve, or where you want to get to: If you want more people to know about you, that is about driving awareness; if you want people to try you out, that is driving trial; or if you want your current customers to buy more, it is all about driving frequency.  But only by creating a business culture where all the business leaders are constantly reviewing actions and progress versus what you want to achieve with your marketing can you keep the business on track to deliver results.

Spot your growth opportunities with a marketing mindset

Any business can look across at the competition and copy what they are doing well. Far fewer have the skill to see the competitions’ weaknesses, understand what customers truly want, and deliver a compelling solution. This ability to recognize opportunity is a key trait of a growth business and of a leader with a strategic vision. The success of the likes of Steve Jobs or Michael Dell rests in their fundamental belief that the purpose of business is to better serve your customer –the very essence of a marketing mindset.

Written by Christina Richardson, founder of The Nurture Network the UK’s first on-demand marketing department for start-ups and entrepreneurial growth businesses.

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

 

No Joy In Mudville….Joey Votto Out 3-4 Weeks!

Joey Votto and Cincinnati Reds Photograph by Cincinnati Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

 

CINCINNATI (AP) Reds first baseman Joey Votto will have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, sidelining him for three to four weeks.
The 2010 National League MVP hurt the knee in late June but kept playing. He had a medical exam Monday evening that detected the injury.
Votto was out of the starting lineup against Arizona on Monday night, getting a day of rest and a chance to have the knee checked. He went hitless in his first two games back from another All-Star appearance, then had a single and a double during a 4-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday night that pushed the Reds into sole possession of first place in the NL Central.
Votto leads the NL in doubles, walks and extra-base hits, batting .342.

Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds by Sports Photographer Vincent Rush

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/07/16/votto-reds-surgery.ap/index.html#ixzz20pmNtwC8

 

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://cincinnatiSPORTSphotography.com Check out my about.me profile!

 

What is America?

 

I can hear the fireworks off in the distance tonight as July 4th winds down and I can pause a few minutes to reflect on the history of this great nation on this Independence Day. For some, this day is truly a celebration of the birth of this nation and a remembrance of our Founding Fathers’ vision of a nation free from tyranny and the recognition that Liberty and Freedom are rights whose source is Divine Providence and can never be taken away by man or government. For the majority of Americans this is just another day off from their jobs. There are BBQ’s and picnics, parades and carnivals, sparklers and fireworks. Yet the majority fail to reflect on the Declaration of Independence as the greatest document ever in the history of mankind apart from the Bible followed by the ratification of the US Constitution which established the role of government and the rule of law in this Democratic Republic.

As Thomas Jefferson authored…

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

 The founders penned their vision of a government that derives it’s powers from the governed. It is also the Right of the People to abolish or alter it IF the government becomes destructive to these rights endowed by our Creator. The Declaration reminds us of the limited role that government should have. The Constitution defines that role. The goverment does not guarantee HAPPINESS (nor can they ever) but rather ensure our God-given right to PURSUE HAPPINESS. So what is America? Is the America we live in today the same that the Founders signed their death warrants for? What about all those patriots who gave their lives from the Revolutionary War to present day defending our liberty and our way of life? Is this the same America? Is America that “shining light on the hill” to a dark world anymore? Is America still exceptional?

Signing of the Declaration of Independence.

 

 

John Adams’ famous letter of July 3, 1776, in which he wrote to his wife Abigail what his thoughts were about celebrating the Fourth of July is found on various web sites but is usually incorrectly quoted. Following is the exact text from his letter with his original spellings:

 

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

 

There was no illusion to those present in Philadelphia that this journey would not be easy.

 

Upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence Ben Franklin responded to a comment by John Hancock that they will all hang for this. He was the eldest signer of the Declaration of Independence, and when he finished signing the document, he joked, “Gentlemen, we must now all hang together, or we shall most assuredly all hang separately.”

 

The members of the Continental Congress committed to each other and their country:

 

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

 

Were these just words? Did they really “walk the walk” as we say today?

 

We tend to forget that to sign the Declaration of Independence was to commit an act of treason — and the punishment for treason was death. To publicly accuse George III of “repeated injuries and usurpations,” to announce that Americans were therefore “Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,” was a move fraught with danger — so much so that the names of the signers were kept secret for six months.

 

Nine of the 56 died during the Revolution, and never tasted American independence.

Five were captured by the British.

Eighteen had their homes — great estates, some of them – looted or burnt by the enemy.

Some lost everything they owned.

Two were wounded in battle.

Two others were the fathers of sons killed or captured during the war.

 

“…our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

 

We all recognize John Hancock’s signature, but who ever notices the names beneath his? William Ellery, Thomas Nelson, Richard Stockton, Button Gwinnett, Francis Lewis — to most of us, these are names without meaning. But each represents a real human being, some of whom paid dearly “for the support of this Declaration” and American independence.

 

Lewis Morris of New York, for example, must have known when he signed the Declaration that he was signing away his fortune. Within weeks, the British ravaged his estate, destroyed his vast woodlands, butchered his cattle, and sent his family fleeing for their lives. Another New Yorker,William Floyd, was also forced to flee when the British plundered his property. He and his family lived as refugees for seven years without income. The strain told on his wife; she died two years before the war ended. Carter Braxton of Virginia, an aristocratic planter who had invested heavily in shipping, saw most of his vessels captured by the British navy. His estates were largely ruined, and by the end of his life he was a pauper. The home of William Ellery, a Rhode Island delegate, was burned to the ground during the occupation of Newport. Thomas Heyward Jr., Edward Rutledge, and Arthur Middleton, three members of the South Carolina delegation, all suffered the destruction or vandalizing of their homes at the hands of enemy troops. All three were captured when Charleston fell in 1780, and spent a year in a British prison. Thomas Nelson Jr. of Virginia raised $2 million for the patriots’ cause on his own personal credit. The government never reimbursed him, and repaying the loans wiped out his entire estate. During the battle of Yorktown, his house, which had been seized by the British, was occupied by General Cornwallis. Nelson quietly urged the gunners to fire on his own home. They did so, destroying it. He was never again a man of wealth. He died bankrupt and was buried in an unmarked grave. Richard Stockton, a judge on New Jersey’s supreme court, was betrayed by loyalist neighbors. He was dragged from his bed and thrown in prison, where he was brutally beaten and starved. His lands were devastated, his horses stolen, his library burnt. He was freed in 1777, but his health had so deteriorated that he died within five years. His family lived on charity for the rest of their lives. In the British assault on New York, Francis Lewis’s home and property were pillaged. His wife was captured and imprisoned; so harshly was she treated that she died soon after her release. Lewis spent the remainder of his days in relative poverty. And then there was John Hart. The speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, he was forced to flee in the winter of 1776, at the age of 65, from his dying wife’s bedside. While he hid in forests and caves, his home was demolished, his fields and mill laid waste, and his 13 children put to flight. When it was finally safe for him to return, he found his wife dead, his children missing, and his property decimated. He never saw any of his family again and died, a shattered man, in 1779.

 

We owe these patriots a debt of gratitude! Do our children know about these people? Do our Public Schools teach these truths regarding the birth of our nation? I am starting to doubt whether many in Congress or even the White House appreciate and honor these heroes or even care. To some, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution is “just a paper”. What is America?

 

I will not forget a speech by Ronald Reagan that warned us about the fragility of our Liberty:

 

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” ~ Ronald Reagan, from his first inaugural speech as governor of California, January 5, 1967

 

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are knitted together and that many of the members of the Continental Congress were influemtial in the writing of our ageless Constitution and Bill of Rights. The recognition that our rights are endowed by our Creator extends into the first Amendment of our Constitution where there is protection of the free exercise of religion. It does NOT say anything about freedom FROM religion or the exercise of it. Our First Amendment begins by limiting the scope of governmental authority over religious matters: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  

 

John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

 

To deny America’s Judeo-Christian heritage is to walk away to what has blessed our nation for so many years. Many progressives and those on the left profess to say the US Constitution and the importance of religious liberty does not apply today.  “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure,” Thomas Jefferson once asked, “when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?” Today, unfortunately, rather than seeing religious liberty as a human right, many, especially among our intellectual and cultural elites, think religious truth is the enemy of human freedom and that pluralism means relativism, a claim increasingly pushed by an ever more central and bureaucratic government—witness the recent regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Not only is the Constitution being threatened with irrelevance but the very role of government as a massive burden and intrusion into the very personal liberty of every American citizen may very well push to the history books what once was that “shining light on a hill”. With government becoming so massive under this administration and Congress we may never be able to recover from a $17T debt and now with the new massive government take-over of the health care system which was passed AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, the IRS and the US Government will consume more power over it’s citizenry than ever in the history of our nation.

 

So, on this Independence Day in America as people go about their picnics and fireworks we should ask ourselves “What is America?” Are we going to do something about our departure from the vision of our Founding Fathers that formed this great nation, concieved in liberty, as ONE NATION UNDER GOD?

 

I echo the words of Ronald Reagan in a speech he made called “What the Fourth of July means to me”:

 

“Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should.”

I am thankful for our nation and the Founding Fathers and many friends I have and mentors who exemplify the virtues of America’s Founders, and promote the independent and entrepreneurial spirit of American citizenship. Let us, the modern day patriots get to the ballot box in November and exercise our right as American citizens to elect God-fearing Constitutionalists to fight for the restoration of our liberty!

 

Happy Independence Day!

“Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” – Leviticus 25:10

Written by a Great American…..Joe Markiewicz

 

 

Sports Photography Trends: Summer – The Best Time For Booking High School Sports!

 

RIGHT NOW is the BEST TIME to book high school sports…do you have your marketing kits ready?  The grads have thrown their hats in the air, and the coaches are taking a sigh of relief, FOR THE MOMENT.
Many schools require staff and personnel to work for a week, or several days, past the last day of the classes for students, so NOW is the time to act!  These couple of weeks following classes are PRIME TIME for speaking with any high school coach.  During these weeks most coaches are more accessible and more willing to meet – and listen – to what you have to offer.
Take advantage of this calm time, as a lot of coaches are hard to locate during the school year.  When they are busy it is tricky to find a “best time” to speak with them, and finding the “best time” that they are willing to listen can be even trickier!  Very often they are busy, and will only give you a few minutes of their time, if that.  You want to approach them at a time when they have more time to listen to you.
Plan ahead.  Do you have your marketing kits together and ready to go?  Be sure to have samples of unique products that will make you stand out among your competitors.  Have a calendar with you for scheduling.  Have testimonial letters from other schools and coaches.  Be prepared to leave detailed information with the coach/decision maker so they can refer back to what you discussed.
One HUGE advantage to approaching school coaches now is that more than likely there areMANY coaches there at the same time.  Once you’re in the school, track down other coaches of other sports.  Now is also the best time to show up unannounced and visit with as many coaches as possible.  Make the most of YOUR time and the coaches availability.  Don’t miss these lucrative couple of weeks…the BEST TIME FOR BOOKING SCHOOL SPORTS!

Posted by Monroe Ohio photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com Check out my about.me profile!

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