In my continuing quest to get credentialed to photograph the Miami Heat games, the Sports Brothers, sports radio hosts and bloggers for all of South Florida sports, got me access to the Miami Heat Media day where the Heat players and coaches meet with the media to discuss the upcoming season. Sure I’m a Celtics fan and their rival is the Miami Heat but to get the chance to photograph the players at the Miami Heat Media day was too good to pass up so I had to put my Celtic pride aside and mingle with the Heat players and photograph them as they gave interviews. Such a tough life I know.
I got to the Miami Heat Media day and quickly met up with one of the Sports Brothers, Ed Freeman. We signed and quickly made our way to the court to survey the scene. As we were walking I noticed multiple pop up studios being set up, all for player photos for different publications, TV and media outlets. It was pretty cool seeing the lighting setups for the player photos that are on the jumbotron or in the season media guide. These pop up studios were all over the place and I studied each one’s setup.
On the main floor where the court normally is there were little interview stations set up for the players to talk to local and national media. ESPN, NBA TV and a few other national sports news outlets were there as well as both local radio and TV media. It was pretty cool seeing people you see on TV and read in the papers right there a mere few feet away etc.
The Miami Heat Media day started off with a press conference with their coach, Eric Spoelstra, in the main interview room. Same place where all the post season press conferences take place and what not. When I got to the room it was packed, like wall to wall. I had to stand up between two TV cameras and I was constantly checking to make sure I was not in their shot. I stood so long my legs started to get numb, but it was worth it. After Coach Spoelstra finished Dwyane Wade and Lebron James came to the podium. Luckily for those two I was able to move closer because the mini interview sessions with the players had begun out on the main floor. It was really interesting watching their mannerisms and their reactions to questions.
After the press conferences were complete I headed back to floor to shadow the Sports Brothers as they interviewed players. Each player had a handler who had them on a tight, tight schedule. Players sat down for interviews, called into radio shows or just answered direct questions from the media. I missed some of the players as I was in the initial press conference with the coach and Dwyane Wade and Lebron. Players were walking past me and I was like y’all look bigger on TV.
It was a great experience being out there. It will be an even better one when I get the chance to photograph the game from the sidelines!