EOD Wounded Warriors Polar Bear Plunge 2014

It’s Fe-brr-uary so that means the Annual Fredericksburg EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge has taken place! I was out there early again supporting the local derby girls – but it has become so much more than that to me. I still feel like an outsider – a spectator and an appreciator of this event. Don’t get me wrong, I love that feeling. It’s like watching a live documentary before my eyes. The camaraderie and relationships that form from diving into a cold river for charity seem to be everlasting as the anticipation for this event happens year round. I love the change in facial expressions that happen from point A to point B. It’s anticipation, smiles, dread, OH GOD WHY, more smiles and then relief. I was able to witness and capture it all in great fun. I absolutely love this foundation and the caring, hardworking people behind it. Check out http://www.eodwarriorfoundation.org for more information on the organization and what they do. For those who may not be aware, EOD stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. These are guys and gals who literally diffuse unexploded bombs and other stuff that can ka-plode. Can you imagine doing that job? I don’t even like to light my own BBQ. I couldn’t imagine the strength and stress that comes with being an EOD tech and have SO much respect for these professionals. It is with great honour and respect that I attend the Polar Bear Plunge and am able to showcase these photos. Between the Polar Bear Plunge and Tribal Quest, I have decided that I am secretly obsessed with people plunging in muddy waters. The full set is available on my Flickr account, but please enjoy this selection I have chosen for the blog.
Click here for the FLICKR SET

Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (1)
Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (2)
Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (3)
Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (4)
Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (5)
Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (6)
Siobhan Young Photography EOD Wounded Warrior Polar Bear Plunge (7)

Tribal Quest 2013

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I had the most wonderful opportunity to photograph this years Tribal Quest 2013. Let me tell you I had a blast. I’ve loved obstacle courses since I was a child watching American Gladiators. My brothers and I used to tip over the ping pong table and couches in the basement and set up our own courses to run through over and over again. I never really grew out of that, so instead of turning my house upside down – I allow the professionals to set up wicked awesome courses! There has been an influx of these mud type runs lately, but always 60 miles or more away. The guys at FredEvents have taken matters into their own hands and set up a local run for the city of Fredericksburg. I respect these guys so much for creating and hosting an event of this magnitude! They not only blessed us with our own event, but they made it safe, fun and not for the faint of heart! From start to finish it’s a party you work for. Music, food and children’s courses were there to enjoy on the grounds. Racers wore a grimace and a smile at the same time plunging deep into mud pits and climbing up and over ropes and tubes. I got crazy muddy just photographing the event – and I loved every second of it. Here are some of the photos I got from this years event. Others can be seen and purchased at

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I love team events where I can witness people getting into the spirit with displays of camaraderie, and there was no shortage of this at Tribal Quest. (I’ll admit I love the outfits, too) I saw everything from people pulling their team mates out of slippery mud pits, encouraging them with words and carrying their limping partners over the finish line. Photographing the event made it hard to decide if I wanted to photograph it again next year, or be a participant in the race. Either way, I’ll see you at Tribal Quest 2014.

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Just for funsies, here’s what happens when you shoot on continuous.
I really hope someone knows this guy and he finds as much amusement in his spray down dance as I do!

Via Colori: Fredericksburg, VA

The end of September was full of fun fall events but none so vivid as Via Colori in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph the event with some other fellow photographers from Create Photographics and we had a blast! Via Colori is a big street art festival that showcases local artists by giving them a space on the street to draw in. They each get a box of pastel chalk and a square – and they get to sit there over the weekend being the muses of the town. Each square is sponsored by a company or individual, and all profits go to art based education. I was there to watch and photograph their pieces unfold on the pavement as each hour passed. We were very lucky the weather held out (sort of) this year. Talking with the artists I found out last year it had rained and washed all their hard work away. It must have been a sight to see all those colours trickle down the street, but I am glad the artists had time to let spectators enjoy their work this time around. There was a light drizzle overnight that required some patch up work by the artists in the morning.

One of the great things about this event is the diversity of the artists themselves. There was a lot of student/teacher combos from schools around the area , freelance artists, professional street artists and people doing it just for fun. The quality of the work from all were outstanding. The thing I really enjoyed about the festival was the lack of stress and the non-competative nature that surrounded it. Everyone was filled with smiles and greetings to each other, borrowing chalk colours and chatting about their pieces. Some people had great stories about what they were drawing. There were a few artists who were recreating photographs from their photographer friends, which I thought was fantastic! If anyone wants to draw any of my photos – feel free! I already have had people tattoo my work onto them, so that would be another cool thing to add to the books!

Everywhere you turned there were vivid colours flying at you. Yes, I write colours because I am Canadian ;) I kept accidentally writing Via Colouri instead of Colori, too! There were artists covered from head to toe in chalk by the end of it. Not only did the colours stand out, but the street performers did as well. Mike Taggert was not only a fantastic magician, but he also sponsored the Via CoThrowie LED project that Fredericksburg All Ages created. It was an adorable artistic event where local kids could throw LED’s that had been taped to magnets onto a metal van at night. Mike Taggert donated his Plumb Magic Van to be the subject.  It was a lot of fun to photograph and the kids loved it! Check out this video here for a deeper understanding of how it unfolded: LED Throwie . There were also Luminaries in the evening. The streets were lined with paper bags of light which was so beautiful. It reminded me of the candlelight ceremony I took part in at CreationFest.

 Everyone walking about seemed to have a cup of Rita’s Italian Ice. Can I just talk for a second about Rita’s? I haven’t been able to find a decent slurpee since moving to the US. The 7-11’s down here actually pump air into their slurpees and it makes them styrofoam-y and gross. Rita’s is Italian ice, I know… but I’m slightly addicted since trying it at the festival. I tried their Swedish Fish flavour. I’m pretty sure they have a bunch of oompa loompas in a factory liquefying the little fish candy and freezing them into this delicious treat. So. Good.

I can’t express how much fun this was and how much it lifted my artistic spirit. Walking down the street was so inspirational. Talking to the artists about their pieces and their backgrounds was even more eye-opening. I can’t wait for next year (this was their second annual event). I might even get a square to draw on. The last time I worked with pastel was in 7th grade and I loved it. I always knew my career would have to be something creative. It’s amazing how one creative field bleeds into the next and so on. I met some really great people this year and cannot wait for next years showcase!