Local Player Using Photography to Grow Tennis
BILLERICA, MA - What do a biochemist, a life coach, a photographer and a tennis player all have in common? Well, not much, except that local Billerica, MA player Carlton SooHoo has successfully done them all. SooHoo’s professional journey has taken him to some incredible heights all while he’s been able to provide tremendous value to whatever industry he’s in.
For example, in 2013, he became the first Boston area Google Trusted Photographer to photograph 360-degree views inside businesses, via his virtual tour photography company, Panospin360.
SooHoo, who turns 60 this fall, has also been an avid tennis player since the eighth grade. He plays competitively in USTA Leagues and is involved in the game now more than ever.
“I love tennis. I’ve always loved the game, specifically the hand-eye coordination, being outdoors and the social camaraderie aspect, especially in doubles,” SooHoo said.
A longtime volunteer at League Championship events, SooHoo was looking to broaden his tennis volunteer experience, so in 2021, he applied and was accepted to USTA New England’s Public Relations Committee.
“I always enjoyed volunteering on behalf of the USTA, and I was interested in more education and finding something that could help expand the number of people who try tennis. Being self employed and having experience in sales and marketing for my own company, I thought it would be the best fit,” SooHoo said.
Over the past year, he’s parlayed his volunteer experience into becoming one of USTA New England’s most reliable freelancers, photographing tournaments, community events and photoshoots for the organization. SooHoo’s recent tennis work has been published online, in print, on marketing materials, billboards and more. He was the official photographer for the organization's ‘I am a tennis player’ campaign last year.
- Carlton SooHoo shoots a community tennis event for USTA New England in May.
- SooHoo attended this year's Miami Open
- SooHoo has been playing USTA League tennis for six years.
“It’s really cool to have your work featured, and it gives you that added layer of confidence. There’s something validating when you see your images in magazines, websites or billboards; it’s confirmation that someone else thinks your work is of good quality,” SooHoo said.
It’s never really about the recognition for SooHoo, who goes out of his way to assist whenever he’s needed. To him, it’s about using his craft for good and bringing joy to people who view his work.
“When people look at photos, they ask themselves, ‘is this a lifestyle that I can enjoy myself?’ You see a photo and try to relate to what the person in that photo is doing,” SooHoo said. “My hope is for people to see my photos and say ‘I could be having that kind of fun playing tennis,’ and that’s what I think about when I’m capturing the emotion in each shot.”
He added, “Tennis is a sport that I really know, but what makes photographing it exciting and challenging at the same time, is the anticipation factor. It can be difficult to get the ball right on or in front of the racquet, but capturing that or the raw emotion after a good or bad shot gives me a great sense of accomplishment, especially given the manner in which the photos will be used.”
SooHoo plans to work and volunteer at a number of upcoming New England tennis events with the ongoing goal of using his platform to encourage growth and participation of the game in New England and beyond.
For some of Carlton's recent work with USTA New England, click below: