What better way to warm the heart in the cold grips of February than with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean? Hey, I know! Donating money to one of the biggest foundations out there, Make-A-Wish! Put the two together, and you have yourself a ridiculous Super Bowl Sunday. I didn’t jump in the water myself, but I have three friends who did. Congratulations to Amanda Aguilar, Lee Cutrone, and Ken Walsh! If you helped donate or raised awareness by sacrificing your comfort on what was an exceptionally beautiful day (50+ degrees Farenheit), thank you 🙂
The Long Island Polar Bears are “motivated by camaraderie, a touch of madness and a common goal: To honor the memory of Paulie Bradley and to keep his young spirit alive in others.” What started as an innocent dip in the ocean between two good friends has quickly grown into a great excuse to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the Metro New York area.
People muscled their way to Long Beach, NY in order to show their support for family and friends while helping kids with terminal illnesses live their dreams. I say muscled because parking was less than ideal. Fortunately, the Long Island Rail Road’s Long Beach Station was open and empty AND even provided shuttle service to the boardwalk. I took advantage of this service, only to realize that the beach itself was five blocks away. It’s ok, now I know for next year.
Photographing this event was dizzying. I didn’t really know what to expect at all and, thanks to lack of parking, was late. I couldn’t find the people I meant to meet up with so rather than photographing people I knew, I photographed the event as an outsider. I also made a bit of a mistake on which lens to use first. I brought two lenses with me, my 18-55 mm and my 70-200 mm. I hooked up the 70-200 mm first, when really it should have been the other way around. Rather than starting with small details, I should have taken pictures of what I was most in awe of — the sheer number of people that were willing to throw themselves into freezing cold water. After the “big picture” shots, then it’s time to get down to the details. I didn’t change the order of my pictures for the very reason that I’m scolding myself now for how I handled it. Other than that, the day was gorgeous, the people attending the event were all in great spirit, and over $500,000 was raised! That’s a wish come true 🙂