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

Posts tagged “Little League

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.



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 or visit

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





2011 Little League Highlight Video

My Kid Didn’t Make The All Star Team…Fair or Foul?

Vincent Rush hitting a home run in Louisville

The 2011 regular season has ended and the All Star season has begun. By now, everyone knows who was chosen for the all stars and who was left out.

Now let me begin by saying this, I know the game of baseball as well as anyone. In fact I posted this picture of me playing in 2005, only as evidence that “I have actually played the game” some degree. Actually I used to get mistaken for former Red, Jeff Conine, when he played for Cincinnati.

No one worked harder than my son this year to achieve his goal of making that elite team, in this, his final year in Eaton Little League. A goal he set as soon as he found out he was not on the 2010 team. He even wrote it on the mirror and put an Eaton All Star hat on his wall to see every day.

After playing fall baseball in West Chester and basketball in Monroe, where we live, he began lifting weights and hitting in the batting cage in one half of our basement in January. We enrolled him in the Midwest Baseball Academy at Eaton high school, and came from Monroe once a week to re build his swing.

We went to the gym 3 days a week and worked on medicine ball swings and core exercises.

Zach played in Monroe and Eaton this year and as of this writing he has played almost 40 games and has a season average of .590.

Now, I love my kid as much as anyone else loves their kid, and as much as I would love to have seen his hard work pay off and him get that phone call…he just simply wasn’t among the top 12-14 kids in what I consider the “4 A’s” of All Star’s, Attitude, Ability, Athleticism and Attributes.

Does my kid have a good attitude? You can’t have a better one than Zach. I’ll put him up against any kid in any league he has ever played in. (Sometimes it’s the parents attitude that coaches don’t want to deal with)

Does my kid have the ability? Well, he can hit any pitcher in any situation. The kid knows the strike zone as well as anyone. He has 10 strike outs through 40 games. He can lay down a near perfect bunt on command and he hits without ever feeling any pressure.

What about desire? Well,  after playing 14u Fall ball,  Zach stated hitting in our basement cage in January, lifting weights and working with a medicine ball, went to an 8 week hitting camp in Feb and played in 2 leagues for increased experience

What about attributes and athleticism? Well, unfortunately, I just described all that he actually brings to the table. As much as I wish he was a 5 tool player, the reality is he hits like Ichiro and runs like Elmo. There is only one position that he is not a liability at and that is either a designated hitter or a first baseman, and the reality is, in Eaton, there are several kids, that if I am a coach that has Eaton’s best interests at heart, I would pick over my son.

In fact, the only way my son would be on that team, would be if I was asked to coach it.

The point of my article, and I am not a journalist, is that every year, there will be a lot of sour grapes and parents crying foul, over their son not being selected.

Accusations of partial coaches, coach’s kids that didn’t deserve it, cliques, politics and an unfair system, always seem to bring a dark cloud over the program for a few weeks every summer.

As I said, if I am a coach, my kid would be on the team. I’ve been happily married for 22 years without ever having spent an angry night away from my wife…it’s not because I’m stupid.

With that being said, I believe with every fiber of my being, that ifI repeat…IF, my son Zach could have provided something to the team, that would get Eaton one step closer to Williamsport, PA., that he would have been asked to play.

Case in point, there are 4 excellent ball players this year that played for Eaton for the first time, The Curry’s, Trevor Pittman and Sean Johnson. At least I believe it was the first for all of them. All 4 of those kids could play on almost any All Star team in any town and this year they will be added to a roster that has experienced a great deal of success over the past few seasons. There’s even a good chance that someone will be left off the roster that has been there the past two years.  With them, Eaton has a chance to really do something special this year.

There has been a high degree of secrecy over the kids that were chosen last week. My guess is that there are going to be some feathers ruffled on the 15th.

As a parent, I as much as anyone, dreamed of my kid playing on that grand stage. When Zach was just home from the hospital, in August of 1998, I would sit on the couch with him in his blanket, sleeping, watching the Little League World Series.

In 1982 when I watched Cody Webster and the kids from Kirkland, Washington shock the world and beat the kids from Japan, I dreamed that it would be great to one day, have a son that played there.

( That story was also an ESPN 30 for 30 special )

As a parent, you hurt for your kid, along with your own ego, when your son or daughter gets left out of that group. We all do. For some of us Dad’s we think it is a reflection of what kind of players we were, as we men can be “Legends in our own mind”. But the fact is, that there are only so few spots for so many kids and I believe that the actual best kids are chosen based on the 4 A’s of the All Star team.

Once again, if I was a coach, my kid would take up a spot and there would be more than enough parents talking about how limited Z was in his ability, his speed, an error they saw him make, etc…. (As a side note, things always work out for the best. Z did get asked to play on a select All Star team once the season was over because of his hitting and attitude)

While my son Zach, hasn’t YET, sprouted in his growth and figured out how to run like the wind, the one thing God has blessed me with is a son with an attitude that prompts him to go to the mirror in his bathroom, take a rag and wipe the goal “ALL STAR TEAM 2011” off and on June 14, 2011, write down a new goal, “ALL STAR TEAM 2012”, the same ritual he has performed for the last 3 years.

I’ve tried to instill a character trait in my kid that is rooted in the mantra that says; “Winning is not everything, but rather the desire to win is!” After the game or the season, if you lose, congratulate the victors, knowing you gave it all you had.

It’s painful when your kid doesn’t  get picked or loses when he really tried. As a child or an adult, we will all experience pain, however the pain of self-discipline is never as bad as the pain of regret. Regret comes from knowing you didn’t give it your all.

I hope as parents we all make the conscious effort, not to destroy the innocence of our children’s youth and love of the game with talk of politics, cliques, unfair practices and predetermined rosters, but rather teach our kids to root for their home town representatives, congratulate the kids that made the team, either on their Facebook pages or in person and how to set new goals and determine to work even harder next year. I believe a lot of potentially great ball players have given up baseball in their youth, due to the bitterness of the parents at home.

Character is who you are when no one is looking and the greatest life lesson we can teach our kids is that private practice always precedes public performance. The chances of my son playing on a Major League Baseball team one day are maybe 1 in 30,000. My sons chances of being a winner in life…he already is.

Freedom Fighters Baseball

Father and Son at Marge Schott Stadium before Freedom Fighters Baseball Game