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Capturing action and emotion can be challenging. This April Photographer of the Month makes it look easy

"Stealing Home" by Terry Lee Wilk won the most votes in last month’s SunShots photo contest, “Motion".
"Stealing Home" by Terry Lee Wilk won the most votes in last month’s SunShots photo contest, “Motion".

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or travel far to take stunning sports images. Terry Lee-Wilk, of Columbia, makes this evident. The psychologist and mother of three in a sports-loving household is an avid hobbyist photographer who creates action-fueled photographs rich with emotions.

Since completing her doctorate in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, Lee-Wilk has called Maryland home. The New Jersey native grew up with cameras around the house and remembers the joy of taking Polaroid pictures and getting her first camera at 10-years-old.

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It wasn’t until her own wedding that she discovered the fun of documenting events. She even volunteered with wedding photographers just to learn more about the skill. While her boys don’t share her love for photography, they are “mildly agreeable” to being her subjects, she said.

Photo by Terry Lee Wilk
Photo by Terry Lee Wilk

Lee-Wilk earned the most votes in last month’s SunShots photo contest, “Motion,” with her photo “Stealing Home,” which was taken during her 9-year-old son’s baseball tournament last fall, at the Howard County Youth Program’s Kiwanis Wallis Park in Ellicott City.

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Lee-Wilk’s ability to find creative ways to still take photos of her sons in action under the state’s stay-at-home order has inspired this month’s photo contest, “At Home.”

Read more about the photographer below and be sure to enter a photo in the SunShots contest for a chance to be profiled and featured on the @baltimoresun Instagram account. And, don’t forget to vote for your favorite photo entries.

1 ) What kind of photography do you enjoy most?

I enjoy taking pictures of my boys, particularly doing what they love (sports). I think because I am a psychologist, I like taking shots that capture emotions or relationships. For example, I like to document reactions to an exciting play or camaraderie among teammates e.g., good sportsmanship, teamwork, winning, and losing. It’s everything that is the essence of the game, and if you think about it, life.

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Wedding photo by Terry Lee Wilk
Wedding photo by Terry Lee Wilk

2) Tell us more about the photo you submitted to the “Motion” contest?

My son is the catcher and the opposing player is sliding home. All eyes, including the players, coaches, and fans, are on the umpire awaiting his call. The photo captures that moment of anticipation that happens in the seconds between the play and when the ump makes the call. What I like about the photo is that this anticipation is suspended in time, leaving the viewer to forever imagine what happens next.

Photo by Terry Lee Wilk
Photo by Terry Lee Wilk

3) Can you explain the process behind taking a good sports photo such as the one you took?

With three boys playing baseball year-round, I have learned to anticipate when a play might happen. I was standing behind the fence on the first base side looking for a play at home. I tracked the player as he rounded third and headed for home. I used a Canon 70 D camera body with a 70-200mm lens. It’s fun for me to challenge myself to capture the play of the game.

With Maryland's stay-at-home restrictions, photographer of the month Terry Lee Wilk has found ways to still be creative and take photos of her sons playing sports in front of their house.
With Maryland's stay-at-home restrictions, photographer of the month Terry Lee Wilk has found ways to still be creative and take photos of her sons playing sports in front of their house.

4) With Maryland under a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic, are you finding other ways to take photos?

Right now, my boys are obviously not playing organized sports. However, they are still actively shooting hoops with each other in a self-organized March Madness tournament in front of our house. I have also been afforded more time to stay at home and cook so many of my current pictures are of food!

5) Is there anything else you want readers to know about you as a photographer?

I generally enjoy photographing human interactions whether it be at a sporting event, wedding, or something in everyday life. Taking photos of my sons playing baseball has brought me closer to them by allowing me to share in their love of the sport.

Want to see more of Lee-Wilk’s photos?

To see more, follow her on Instagram @goodnuftigermom. You can also read an op-ed piece she wrote in The Sun about teaching her boys to embrace the notion of “girl power”.

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