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Beyond the Fences

My Offseason Away From Ballhawking

Many of us wonder what to do with our free time once the baseball season has ended. This year my dilemma was two fold because I was still looking for a job as well. Just after the baseball season ended I started working on transferring my father's old baseball photos from slides to digital. During this process I was given a decent canon digital SLR camera by someone that was helping me out with this. So this is what I have done since receiving that camera.

I have always had a love for photography and living in LA there are always opportunities to take pictures of celebrities. I decided to put the two together and go semi-paparazzi. The first event I shot was the Anaheim International Film Festival. It wasn't anything to exciting but it did have some stars like Mira Sorvino, Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid in Harry Potter), Hector Alizondo and a few others. There were not huge celebrities but none the less I had my foot in the door of celebrity event photography.

I submitted photos to some celebrity photo agencies and since it can take up to 90 days for overseas sales to come through I am still waiting to find out if anything sold. Since then I have hooked up with a celebrity photo agency and now they send me information of celebrity events and places where we might find celebrities to "Pap". "Pap" is short for paparazzi which means getting a photo of them on the street that is not posed for.

I have only covered a handful of events for this photo agency but it has been an awesome experience so far. Those of you that follow me on Facebook (now http://www.facebook.com/mlballhawk) may have seen some of the events that I have been to. I have shot Mario Lopez filming "Extra" at the Grove in LA, a Justin Bieber book signing, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and just this past Monday I shot Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian at a press conference for Skechers. Along with the Skechers press conference this past weekend I got to photograph an American Music Awards gifting suite where celebrities get FREE products from new companies that want exposure. I also shot an AMA pre-party at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and an AMA after party (all B-listers) on Sunday night.

Ultimately it all ties back in to baseball somehow. As I was shooting Cole and Dylan Sprouse for "The Suite Life On Deck" I was approached by a man and his son. The man said to me "Aren't you that Ballhawk guy from Dodger Stadium". The other tie in to baseball was the AMA Pre-party where I saw Mr. Steroid himself, Jose Canseco. It was actually pretty cool seeing Jose and he even remembered me from when I was a clubhouse guy in the Golden Baseball League.Overall the celebrities are very cool. I have caught myself having conversations with several while waiting on the Red Carpet and you talk about everything from how hot the girl on the Red Carpet is, baseball, basketball (I hate the Lakers), families and other random stuff. It is nice to see that most are down to earth and just like you and me!

If you take a look online and google "John Witt / PR Photos" you can find images that I took that are on websites and elsewhere. You can also google "John Witt" "Kim Kardashian" Skechers and you will find photos that I took just this past Monday online. Make sure you keep the quotes where I have them. You can also check out photos from this past weekends events at http://arejayimages.smugmug.com.

Stay tuned as I will update my adventures in Paparazziland. You can follow along by adding me on Facebook http://facebook.com/mlballhawk or by following me on Twitter @arejay_images.

Photo credit: ?2010 John Witt / Arejay Images

John Witt is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.

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