Photographing NHL Hockey

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.

I’m sure ego had something to do with me thinking hockey was just another sport. The moment I went down to the rink to my little hole to capture the game from I was like this was going to be sweet. So close to the action and I was going to get all these amazing shots so close. Wrong!

As soon as the puck initially dropped I knew I was in trouble. NHL hockey isn’t like photographing baseball or football. It was faster; way faster.

I wasn’t ready for the speed. I wasn’t ready for the puck whizzing past me or smacking the glass or wall next to me. My head was on a swivel trying to keep up. Not to mention me having to look out for players checking each other into the boards right next to me.

After photographing my first game of the Florida Panthers vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins I literally asked myself, “What did I get myself into?” I may have had a keeper or two; if that.

How I went about shooting hockey was all wrong. I thought I could shoot it like football; shutter speed at least 1/1000th and I would be golden. Nope. The game is so fast that I had more blurry photos at that setting than I ever did shooting NFL games. After my first game I reached out to some colleagues from the NFL and MLB who also photograph NHL hockey and I asked for help. It doesn’t hurt to ask. So I reached out to Michael Mooney and Heather Barry for their expertise and to pick their brain. They provided some valuable insight which has helped me since.

Now I’m not going to say I’m an expert at shooting hockey now after my first experience. I’ve certainly grown and definitely have gotten better. I’m no where near the standards I think I should hold myself at, but I’m getting there. I’m understanding the game more; the nuances and I’m recognizing the way the game is played. I’m still way behind on recognizing players and with a good portion being European or Russian; their names are still foreign to me.

The lesson I learned and the hard way is that shooting sports is not the same from sport to sport. Every game is different and I have to adapt to the game and not try to force the game to adapt to me and the way I shoot.

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight #30 | Arizona Coyotes vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 25, 2021
Florida Panthers
Arizona Coyotes vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 25, 2021
Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar
Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar #52 | Arizona Coyotes vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 25, 2021
Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller
Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller #9 | Arizona Coyotes vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 25, 2021
lorida Panthers left wing Anthony Duclair
Florida Panthers left wing Anthony Duclair #10 | Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 21, 2021
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonas Johansson
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonas Johansson #31 | Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 21, 2021
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad #5 | Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 21, 2021
Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher
Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher #37 | Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 21, 2021
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight #30 | New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 18, 2021
Florida Panthers
New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 18, 2021
New Jersey Devils goaltender Jonathan Bernier
New Jersey Devils goaltender Jonathan Bernier #45 | New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 18, 2021
NHL Hockey
New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 18, 2021
New Jersey Devils center Michael McLeod
New Jersey Devils center Michael McLeod #20 | New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 18, 2021
Florida Panthers defenseman Kevin Connauton
Florida Panthers defenseman Kevin Connauton #44 and Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight #30 | New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 18, 2021
Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov
Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov #16 | Pittsburgh Penguins vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 14, 2021
Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell
Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell #15 | Pittsburgh Penguins vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 14, 2021
Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter
Pittsburgh Penguins center Jeff Carter #77 | Pittsburgh Penguins vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | October 14, 2021
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 | Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
FLA Live Arena
FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky
Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 | Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight #30 | Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
Washington Capitals right wing Daniel Sprong
Washington Capitals right wing Daniel Sprong #10 | Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
Florida Panthers
Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin #8 | Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight
Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight #30 | Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena | November 4, 2021

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