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Photography allows us to capture a moment in time that would otherwise become a fleeting memory. It is through photos that some of the most compelling stories in history have been told. The fifth installment of our After The Sand Has Settled series features the favorite photos of AVP staff photographer Mpu Dinani.

 

Literally the one of the first photos I captured of the 2017 season. Reid Priddy left an amazing career on the hardwood for the soft sand of the AVP this past season. And although he and Chaim Shalk came up short in the AVPHB qualifier, you knew right away that he would eventually be a staple on the AVP tour. 

 

Huntington Beach has always had a special place in my heart. It’s actually the first place I got my first major assignment covering the US Open of Surfing. The pier offers photographers an additional perspective when shooting from above, but also provides some cool shadows below.

 

I always get the best shots from Ty! You can always count on him to give every ounce of effort, and you can see it in his expression and body language. Not only is he a cool dude, he’s also a gentleman…notice the pinky?

 

I try to always keep it professional in the workplace, but that’s hard to do when Robert Beck is around. It’s important for a photographer to have a mentor, and I’m lucky I get to sit next to this guy on the sand. I can remember learning that I was going to be working alongside a living legend in sports photography, he’ll never tell you that though. Thanks for helping me to become the photographer I am today. 

 

The Homie. You know that feeling you get when DJ Roueche plays a tight song and you turn toward the “DJ Roueche Tower” in amazement…ya, this is the look I get back in return! I did this often throughout the season. The man is nothing short of brilliant. 

 

He’s going to hate me for using a smiling picture, but this is the face I always see when I approach Donald. Not sure what he saw in me when he brought me on board, but I’m beyond grateful he did.

 

Night match in Austin. Jeremy Casebeer loses his hat and walks perfectly into the light.

 

Anytime you come to an AVP event, you’ll see people from all walks of life. That definitely is the case in New York. Fans of all ages and from different backgrounds filled the stands almost everyday.

 

Normally I don’t venture far from the hotel at each AVP stop. Especially if involves going to one of the largest housing projects in the world, but Brittany was brave enough to cross the bridge to the Queensboro Housing Project, so I made the trek as well. Turned out to be one of the most awesome days I’ve had in a long time. It’s amazing how a little bit of sunshine and some Wilson volleyballs can bring so many smiles to so many faces. 

 

Emily Day was a beast this year. I loved capturing her fist pump after she would get a monster block. This time she came down after a block and pounded that fist on the sand at the same time the ball landed on the other side of the net.

 

One of the best parts of the 2017 season was seeing all the international players compete. They elevated the level of play. It was great to see legends like Phil and Ricardo going at it.

 

AVP athletes are physically gifted. But we sometimes overlook their mental talents as well. The ability to make split second decisions as balls are being rocketed at you amazes me more than anything.

 

Who remembers the amazing light that came through at sunset during the last matches on Friday evening in Seattle?

 

Was pretty stoked to capture this gem. Stafford Slick with the huge block, goggles, smile…and T-Rex arms! Seattle had a cool set up where you could shoot directly down on the outer courts from the top row of Stadium Court.

 

I would show up early every morning in Seattle with a cup of coffee and sit at the water’s edge and wait patiently for the bald eagles to soar across Lake Sammamish. I’m not much of a bird photographer, but witnessing bald eagles in their own natural habitat is unbelievable! 

 

Hands down, best celebration on tour all year long. With all the sand throwing and rolling, how could you not be happy for Maddison and Ty? 

 

The sitting volleyball matches were another highlight from the 2017 season. People couldn’t help but smile as they got to try out the sport during an exhibition in San Francisco. Gold medalist Katie Holloway is a great ambassador for the sport. 

 

Celebrations were definitely taken up a notch this past year. The Em’s Entourage tunnel was a close second to the McKibbin/Loomis sand roll. 

 

Geena is another athlete that always gives me an epic shot. She is absolutely relentless on the sand, and I have tons of images to prove it. 

 

I got a tip during the qualifier that there was a stud playing on the sand, and her name was Hailey Harward. That tip was spot on! Hailey and her partner went on to qualify for the Hermosa Open. Welcome to the Beach! 

 

When I started working with AVP during the 2013 season, Trevor Crabb was still making his was through qualifiers. You could tell he was a beast at the net, but hadn’t figured it out just yet. He’s become a regular on the AVP, and came so close to winning his first title. I think 2018 will be a good year for Trevor. 

 

It was a blast capturing the AVPFirst tournaments this year! These kids are getting good at an early age. AVP has done a great job to grow the game. 

 

Thanks for finally playing AVP, Brandie Wilkerson! It was fun watching your matches. Always loved your energy.

 

Definitely a favorite image from this past season. Jeff Samuels in full control of the elements. 

 

Chicago is one of my favorite stops. Deep dish, Wrigley Field, Magnificent Mile, Lakeshore Drive…should I go on?

 

The AVP Gold Series was a pretty cool addition to this past season. Love how the fans totally embraced it. 

 

April Ross is unreal. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a bad photo of her.