During the 2014 Powerade State Games figure skating competition for which I was hired as the Official Photographer, the local ice rink management decided to allow access to a rival photography company during the live competition so they could "practice shoot" - despite the rink's prior assurances to me that the other company would not be allowed to be present - a company that already covered hockey and is well-skilled at photographing fast-moving objects wearing ice skates. Last year, when a different photography company was covering figure skating at the State Games as the Official Photographer, I wasn't even allowed to bring my camera into the building, and outside photography by anyone other than coaches and parents was prohibited. But times change, I suppose.
I filed a complaint on the day of the event, but the only person in authority that I could find to file it with was the person who let them in and who saw no issue. As it was a busy day, I returned to my coverage of the event and completed a 17-hour shooting day. After the event, I filed a formal complaint with the State Games sponsor. I also posted a rant on my personal Facebook page because I felt betrayed by having been lied to.
The rink management takes no responsibility and in retaliation for my actions, has banned me from doing any further photography of any ice sports at their rink. The company that was allowed to "practice shoot" has taken over shooting figure skating events for the rink (who didn't see THAT coming?), and the rink owner and their family members have blocked me on Facebook. So if you notice that I have suddenly "disappeared" from the scene and you are being told a different story - herein is the truth.
While I was fortunate to have had sales from the events I covered, being a one-person company often meant my expenses were higher due to hiring additional qualified photographers to assist and renting gear for larger events. It was largely a Labor of Love for me when all was said and done.
I am not sorry that I stood up for myself and my principles. I would do it again. Integrity is important to me.
I am not mentioning the name of the rink or of any persons involved because that is not the issue.
I sincerely want to thank all the figure skaters whom I have photographed over the last few years. Watching you grow and improve has been a humbling and inspirational experience. And special thanks to all the parents, grandparents, and supporters who have purchased my CDs and photos. You have made it possible for me to improve my photography skills and also to upgrade my equipment so that I could take and deliver even better competition photos.
I fully understand with politics being what they are, that I may lose more friends over this issue since the affiliation between skaters and the rink may force some people to shun me, as the rink management has, in order to stay in favor at the rink. I forgive you and I fully understand. Thank you for your prior support and friendship.
I was a freelance photographer before covering the local ice events and I'm still a freelance photographer after that chapter has closed. I will approach all work with the integrity and professionalism that is my character. Photography is not my full-time job; But it is my hobby and passion.
For those who are willing to continue to support me - I offer modeling shoots, head shots, high school senior photos, prom photos, Bar/Bat Mitzvah coverage, engagement and wedding coverage, as well as custom photo shoots which can range from boudoir and burlesque genre, corporate events, or individual sports coverage. I've shot museum openings, theater awards ceremonies, and even truck and tractor pulls!
My very best wishes to my loyal customers and supporters!
/Ron Tencati Photography