Darkroom: Capturing an unscripted moment at Truxtun Park Pool

It was a slow news day in the dog days of summer, and we wanted photos of people “beating the heat” for the next day’s paper. After assigning photographers to shoot standalone wild art or weather this week, I decided to give them a break and venture off to shoot this one myself.

I arrived to a sea of kids swimming, jumping and playing at Truxtun Park Pool, thinking I’ll be out of here in five minutes. I walked around the pool several times taking photos of kids doing what kids do – mostly performing for the camera but not catching that unscripted moment. Sometimes it takes patience, waiting, watching until something happens in front of you.

I noticed a little boy who was seemingly teaching himself how to swim in the shallow end of the pool. Rashiee Uzzell, 6, from Odenton, was practicing his strokes, putting his head under water and kicking his feet. Over and over I watched him splash around the water, smile and laugh to himself with each successful attempt, each time calling to camp leaders to share his accomplishment.

Finally, he raced to the ladder to share his success. Excited and with a joyous smile on his face, he climbed out of the pool. He gave me my moment. That was my photo — I knew I was done. Patience pays off.

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