Last fall, Glastonbury residents Scott and Betsy Reed set out to snap a few photos of the freshman football team at Glastonbury High School.
Soon the Reed’s picture-taking hobby transformed into a passion for the local couple, who created Glastonbury Sports Photography and now are capturing thousands of timeless photos of athletes on a weekly basis.
“We never imagined that it would grow to what it's become,” said Scott, “It's a lot of work, but hearing the positive impact the images have on the players and teams is just awesome.”
During the day, Scott is a financial planner and owns Reed Financial Services LLC in Glastonbury where Betsy is the Director of Marketing and Client Engagement for the corporation.
At night, the cameras come on as snap away at a variety of sports around the area, mainly Glastonbury High School where three of their kids compete.
“There is so much volunteering that goes into these sporting events and this is our way of giving back,” said Betsy. “These kids will grow up and always have these pictures.”
Between the two, the couple captures between four to six thousand photos per game before heading home to begin the tedious editing process.
When they first started, weeding through the images and enhancing the photos would take all day. However, thanks to experience and better software, the Reeds can now complete the task in just a few hours.
But for the couple, the entire process doesn’t feel like work at all.
As they wait for the pictures to download, they turn on music as they sit around the kitchen island anticipating the potential wonders they just captured.
“It’s like Christmas,” described Scott.
Each started as an amateur photographer, with Scott dabbling around with his Canon Rebel and Betsy taking photos of nature with her IPhone.
Now each shoots with a Canon R6—recommended for sport photography—and they have spent countless hours of online research to hone their craft. They have also invested in a variety of lenses to capture the perfect shot and editing software to enhance the finished product.
It’s also a dance between the two during the sporting events. They usually shoot from opposite sidelines to capture as many angles as possible and they watched the entire game through the lens while dodging wayward balls and pacing coaches.
During the game, they will correspond with each other in an effort to strike a balance between action shots and candid moments.
If one of their kids is participating in the game, the finished photos are downloaded for free to their website and various social media sites.
The feedback was so positive from the first couple of uploads that the Reeds began to receive inquires to do many other sporting events.
To offset some of expenses for time and travel, the Reeds began to charge a $100 flat fee, which an extremely reasonable rate.
Recently, they were hired by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) — the governing body of high school sports in the state — to photograph the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) wrestling championships at Glastonbury High School in February.
Over the last eight months, the couple noted that there has been a bit of a learning curve.
“We’ve learned its okay to be heavy handed with the shutter,” said Betsy. “Or if that play is over and you think you’re done, you’re not, because maybe someone is high-fiving or celebrating.”
At first they would just focus on action during competition, but they soon realized that there was so much more going on around them –– from the coach’s interactions with the players, to the fans in the stands, to the candid moments between players.
Scott noted being on the sidelines and their advanced lenses allow a perspective that can’t be seen from the stands, adding “You can freeze frame a moment with the long lenses that can reach right onto the field.”
No sporting event is too big or too small for the local couple, who have covered freshman teams, junior varsity, varsity, and club teams.
One of their sons, Colby, is special needs and participates in Special Olympics and Unified Sports.
The Reeds said the gratitude they received from taking photos at his events have been phenomenal.
“We got an enormous amount of feedback from parents that saw pictures of Unified basketball. It meant a lot to the parents,” Betsy said.
The couple is looking forward to shooting spring sport season for the first time and anticipating the return of football season in the fall.
Their son, Eli, who was the original inspiration behind the photo-taking venture will be entering his sophomore season with the Guardians.
“Whether it is the bright sunlight or Friday night lights, there is nothing better [than football],” said Betsy. “There is emotion, there is drama.”
When the Guardians football season kicks off it will also mark one year since the Reed’s sports photography passion kicked off.
No matter the sport, the Reeds said the last eight months have been a learning experience, but mostly a rewarding one.
“We've received letters from players thanking us for the images of them and countless texts, messages and e-mails from parents telling us the positive impact the photos have had on their kids,” stated Scott. “I can't even describe how good that makes us feel”
For more information, visit glastonburysportsphotography.com or check out the Reeds’ photos on Facebook or Instagram.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin