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.
The 2020 MLB season was definitely a unique one. 2020 in general was a whole other story to be honest. For the 2020 MLB season I was tested for Covid numerous times a week and I was the only sports photographer, other than the Marlins team photographer, in the well shooting. There were 60 games in 60 days and I had a stretch of 14 games in 10 days including a few double headers. The 2020 MLB season truly was an experience and one that I’m more than ok with not having again.
Who can’t get excited for a Sunday Night Football game with both Tom Brady and Drew Brees in it? Two legendary quarterbacks throwing 300 yards each with multiple touchdowns. Fast pace action left and right and me right there capturing it all. Narrator: It didn’t go the way JC had planned for. It was a one sided game in favor of the Saints.
Opening Day in baseball is always filled with a regal pomp and pageantry, but Opening Day 2020 was filled with a lot less. While having sports is a great escape from what is happening in the real world, this year there was no escaping what was happening all around. From the Covid-19 and the calls for Social Justice, baseball took a backseat and put these causes into their forefront all the while providing a distraction, albeit a brief one, from the chaos and turmoil gripping the country.