That's newly crowned WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova's signature expression during game play. The Slovakian term translates to "come on" in English, and it caught on me during the week-long WTA Finals. It was a little catchy, and also because of Cibulkova's spirited and lively demeanor.
For me, I make it a point to give every assignment my all, and try my best to make different pictures from everyone else. While the Finals isn't as big as the Slams in the tennis fraternity, I still treated it as a major assignment for me, because such events don't come around often here in Singapore.
This is the third edition of the Finals, and I've covered the previous two as well - the first as a student photojournalist with Red Sports and the second with Lagardère Sports, the local organizers of the event. Looking back at some of my frames from the previous editions made me feel a little happy with how I've improved, yet at the same time not so, and that's probably due to the high bars I set for myself.
In the past, I never really planned for images and I usually just try making something right there and then. Just as in any form of art, as you grow, you tend to do and see things differently so I started planning images in my mind prior to assignments.
Planning early helps put you where you need to be to take the picture, but of course, sometimes, you need a little stroke of luck for magic to happen. I had a handful of frames in mind - some of which I managed to achieve, some which I didn't - but I'm not disappointed, because I know a single solid frame can take decades to achieve.
Sporting action aside, knowing how to read the game play and predict reactions of players are equally important. This year, that really paid off and I managed to get some frames of jubilation that I didn't have much of in previous editions. I used to think that in sports photography, only action matters. But no. Moments are big too. From quiet moments to injuries to epic celebrations. All that defined this year's assignment for me.