Hello and welcome, Paige Creason! Tell readers a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Hi! I’m Paige Creason, owner of Dingers Photography. I grew up in Apple Valley, California, and lived there for my whole life until just recently moving to Victorville, [California]!

Did you play sports as a kid?

Growing up, I was a dancer, I did just about any style of dance you can think of. I did jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, and ballet, however, my favorite was by far hip hop. My original plans were to pursue hip hop and become a backup dancer as my career, but I changed those plans once I discovered my passion for sports photography. I played softball for some time too; I was a catcher and spent some time as a shortstop.

Very nice. Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Many people often think that I’m a lot older than I am, but I am 17 years old (soon to be 18 in May) and a senior in high school!

How long have you been a photographer? When did you start?

I’ve been pursuing photography since my freshman year of high school, so about 4 years now! However, I’ve always liked photography and even used to photograph events for my mom when I was just 10 years old, but I didn’t truly discover my passion for photographing sports until I was in my freshman year of high school.

I love that you are pursuing your passion at a young age. Good for you; I wish I'd have done the same. I listened to everyone who said I should not go to school for photography... one of the biggest mistakes of my life!

Both of my parents would take photos using the camera my Dad had for memory purposes, but neither of them pursued photography as a career. When it came to learning how to do photography, I did most of it on my own.

What was your first “pro” camera?

I began shooting on my Dad’s Canon 20D, then got a Rebel T7 for Christmas during my freshman year. Once I realized I wanted to take photography seriously, I began taking side hustles (babysitting, house cleaning, yard work, etc.) to save up for higher-quality equipment, then purchased a Canon R7!

What camera(s) do you currently shoot with?

About 6 months ago, I purchased my second camera body, a Canon R5.

What makes a “professional photographer” in your opinion?

What makes someone a “professional photographer” in my opinion, is someone who puts true passion and effort into their work. Anybody can simply TAKE photos, but not many can MAKE photos (wise words that I have collected from the wonderful Jean Fruth). I think a photographer’s passion and creativity are directly reflected in their work. I also think that truly skilled sports photographers can make art out of sports, and show

the harmony that can be created between the two.

I wholeheartedly agree. It's one of the reasons I often get irked when the term "content creator" gets placed on every photographer. I don't like to think what I make is "content." I like to think I make art. Is every single photo art? No, but most of what I shoot I certainly am trying to make more than simply "content."

Anyways, haha, what was your first paid photography gig?

My first paid photography gig was when I was 15, going down with one of my family friends to a pony league tournament, and I was paid $40 and a Chick-fil-A meal (I was a very happy camper).

Ha! I love it. What was one of your favorite events/competitions/games/matches that you shot?

My favorite game I have been able to shoot was a Padres vs. Rockies game at Coor’s Field. I was a student at a Summit Photography Workshop and got the opportunity to shoot Yu Darvish’s 100th win, and even sit in the 1st base photo well for a few innings. It was an absolute dream come true!

That is so amazing!!! I have wanted to do one of those Summit Workshops. What an opportunity!

Do you do your own photo editing? Do you like photo editing? Why or why not?

Yes, I do all my own editing. I enjoy it when I’m not on a time crunch, if I’m running behind on a deadline, then it can get stressful which interferes with my creativity and focus.

What photography jobs do you have coming up that you are excited about?

Coming up, I have lots of high-school baseball games (which I honestly love, even though I shoot about 3-4 a week) including shooting for Mater Dei High School which I’m stoked for. I will also be a photography intern for the Orange County Riptide this summer!

Congratulations! That is great. What kinds of non-sports-related photo jobs do you take?

Aside from action shots, I have been doing team media days, which are always super fun. I also do senior portraits and have photographed a wedding and a quinceanara.

What topic is related to photography in general, or more specifically sports photography, that you are passionate about?

I think the reason I’m so drawn to sports photography aside from general photography, is the love that I have for sports. I grew up going to my brother's baseball games and have always enjoyed the sport, and it became a huge part of my life. I love seeing the way that sports can bring not only players, but crowds of people together, and create not only a community but a family.

That's a great answer. I also love the passion and the emotion you can get from sports photos.

Who were/are your mentors?

I would say one of my biggest mentors is Jean Fruth. I was extremely blessed to meet her at a photography workshop, and she has been nothing but supportive and a huge inspiration to me. I have also gained tons of knowledge from Doug DeFelice, and Steve Fine, and have been very fortunate to know them for the past 2 years.

I know Jean (via social media). She's such an artist. I will follow Doug and Steve, too. Thanks for that! What would be an event/competition/game that you would love to shoot someday?

My dream is to one day photograph the World Series and the Olympics. I also think that being able to shoot the Home Run Derby would be awesome!

Oh man, yes, that would be fun! What sport have you not shot yet that you would love to shoot?

A sport that I have yet to shoot is surfing, and I would love to shoot an MMA fight as well! I love finding new sports to try out and create some versatility in my skill, but my heart will always belong to baseball photography.

Follow Paige's career via her website, on TikTok, and on her Instagram. This is going to be a name you are going to want to remember. Good luck, Paige, and thanks for the interview. It was so nice to meet you! Stay tuned for our next interview on Thursday.