The Perfect Shot

By Dylan Mahoney '20
Dylan loves photography; it's why he's studying art at St. Joseph's College in Maine next year. Here's a glimpse at the world through his lens.
“Shot! Scores!”
The announcer yelled over the loudspeaker. It was nearing the end of the Waltham-Catholic Memorial lacrosse game last spring and the score was tied with 25 seconds left.
CM just needed to win the faceoff and take one final shot.
It had to be perfect.
I needed to be perfect.
The only difference was that I wasn’t on the field.
I was on the sidelines with my camera. I’m a photographer, not a lacrosse player, yet we both have an obligation to take good, smart shots. We work hard for those shots. So, in those next 25 seconds, the stage was set for both the lacrosse team and me to display our best work.
“READY! DOWN! SET!” exclaimed the referee, pushing the players to get ready for the most crucial face-off of the game.
Then as soon as the referee says, “Go!” our faceoff man, Nick, wins the ball and takes it downfield. Mean-while, I find my position along the sideline, sit, and set my camera to burst mode. The mode uses a shutter to take numerous photos within a single second, helping me capture every bit of action I can.
Nick passes the ball over to our attack man, Johnny. With 15 seconds left, he stands at the top of the opposing team’s box. On the other side of him, a defender stands ready to do whatever it takes to take that ball away from him.
Meanwhile, I’m sitting, eagerly watching through my lens and waiting for what comes next.
As soon as Johnny digs in and takes off, everything slows down for me. I watch Johnny step left, then go right, leaving the defender behind him to take a game-winning shot. In the next 10 seconds, I take a rapid series of 50 photos.
The team gets the win and I get my shot. We’re both ecstatic.
I believe photography completes me as a human. It’s my escape, really. It’s a way out from all the realities of the world. I get lost in whatever I’m doing whenever I have a camera in my hand. Time doesn’t matter. The only thing that does is the subject of the photo and how I can make the next one better. Nothing makes me feel more special than when I take pictures for someone and they love them so much that they share them on social media with their friends.
In Ms. Akouri’s photography and photoshop classes, I learned how to hone this passion for photography. She taught me how to find the right angles and distances to make photos look extra special.
I like to think that I’ve come a long way too. Before I began practicing photography, I used to get upset quickly and give up on things if they weren’t going my way. But I’ve learned that photography is all about trial and error. It requires patience.
Now, after plenty of mistakes and redoes, I have the drive to keep pushing through any obstacle. It could be schoolwork or sports. Anything.