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.
Photographing any sports during the Covid-19 Pandemic is and will be a unique experience. There were new rules and guidelines to follow and not to mention that they will probably change every day, if not more. For me, photographing Major League Baseball games during Covid-19 was therapeutic and in all honesty, it was such an amazing time given the perpetual doom and gloom of news that was associated with Covid-19.
As a sports photographer, it is super important that my sports photography workflow for during and after games is on point. If I’m slow transmitting photos up to the teams, the leagues or wherever then the chances of my photos being picked up dramatically decreases. The whole point of my sports photography workflow is to get my photos off my camera and uploaded in the shortest amount of time possible.