When the Shohei Ohtani experience rolled into Miami to take on the Marlins at loadDepot Park I knew I had to be there. Lucky for me the game I photographed was the one where he was also the starting pitcher so I got the full Shohei Ohtani experience. And let me tell you, Ohtani did not disappoint.
When the original dates for players to report for Spring Training past due to the lock out I wasn’t sure the 2022 MLB Spring Training would happen. Like most fans and people who work during the season, we waited every day for the two sides to come together to work out a deal. Days flew by like a Jacob deGrom fastball, but still no baseball. Until one day they agreed to end the lock out and then two days later I started my MLB Spring Training season.
To say I didn’t know what to expect in my first season shooting for the NHL would be an understatement. While my hopes of shooting the Stanley Cup faded in the second round of the Playoffs, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was such a wild ride and the non-stop action made it all that much better. Of course when you get to cover the best team in hockey, it definitely makes things more enjoyable.
It seems like every other week sports photographers on social media are bashing one of their own for something they did that either caused them no miss a shot or ruin it for someone else. Even though sports photographers will preach about mental health constantly on social media, we’re the first ones to put someone on blast or tear them down for something they did. And to be honest it’s mostly the experienced people attacking the newer ones. Reality is that there are rules or etiquette for sports photographers. Some are obvious, others unwritten.
It feels like with the adaptation of 4k, 8k etc. that video is the go to medium when it comes to sports. On the sidelines and baselines videographers appear to outnumber photographers. While video has been the hot item recently, photography in sports is still important. Now more than ever.
When I was hired by the NHL to be one of their photographers in their LSC program I thought hockey was just another sport for me to photograph. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Photographing NHL hockey is a whole other beast entirely and honestly, I wasn’t ready for it.
Before Covid derailed the 2020 MLB season, the Los Angeles Angels were supposed to travel to Miami to play the Marlins, but that never materialized for obvious reasons. I was disappointed to say the least because that would have been my chance to finally shoot Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Fast forward a year and Ohtani is the talk of the baseball world and I finally got my shot to photograph them playing the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, FL.
The second series of the season brought in the St. Louis Cardinals to loanDepot Park to face the Marlins. I was definitely excited for the Cardinals vs Marlins matchup as it gave me an opportunity to see Nolan Arenado with his new team as well as photography Yadier Molina for the first time. I think the biggest gift the Cardinals vs Marlins series gave me and others was that the roof was finally open for all three games at loanDepot Park.
The 2021 MLB Opening Day marked the start of my third season as a photographer for Major League Baseball and like the start of the 2020 season, we still were dealing with the effects of Covid. This year was a little different as I was not shooting from the photo wells to start the season, but from the stands. Was it ideal, no, but you play the hand you were dealt not the one you hoped for. The big difference to start this season was that fans were allowed back to the games albeit a limited number of fans to start the season.