Monday, March 23, 2015

Feet Up Foul

"Beno Udrih #19 of the Memphis Grizzlies falls to the court after being fouled against the Washington Wizards in the first half at Verizon Center on March 12, 2015 in Washington, DC."

Recently I've been on the other side of the camera - actually - I haven't even had the camera in my hand.

This past week I spent a couple days remotely editing more than five college basketball games during March Madness.

I'll be the first to admit, I've never been the greatest basketball photographer. I would say that is mostly due to the fact that my time court side has been few and far between due to other assignments during hoops season.

So sitting behind a computer in my office, catching hundreds of amazing basketball images the past couple of days has not only gave me a new level of respect for editors, but also, has been a great opportunity to see how my co-workers document the sport.

As I approach basketball moving forward, I know it will be a lot more of a challenge as I try and one up my teammates and competition.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Flying Low

"Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers walks to the locker room after losing to the Dallas Stars at Wells Fargo Center on March 10, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

There is nothing more telling than when an athlete lets their guard down. Win or lose, joy or sorrow, the minute they walk off the playing field is when real emotions come through.

Unfortunately, these type of solitude moments are hard to come by in professional sports. Getting access is often forbidden, and without it, photographers are left to tell the story of the night by documenting images on the playing surface.

In Philadelphia, the arena is setup a bit different than other hockey venues around. I recently found that the tunnel to and from the locker room was accessible without being obtrusive. A small cutout path between the exit of the door and the access to the bench made images possible.

After getting permission to shoot available light and remain behind the line, I tried to work the scene the best I could as players walked out for the game. To my dismay, it was rather dark and tough to document with the allowed angles due to staff blocking the open pathway.

At the end of the game, I took the risk to shoot again, knowing I could maybe lean out a bit further once the last player walked by. That extra lean, paired with the body language of the athlete and behind the scenes vantage, helped make a telling image of the night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Get Loose

"Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Comcast Business Toyota, is involved in an incident on the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada."

Did you get it? That's often the question asked after any on track incident during motorsports.

In all fairness, it's a good question. With more than 40 cars speeding by at over 150mph, for more than 200 laps, it's easy to feel like every passing is the same - but they're not.

Each lap means that every time the drivers pilot by your perch, something storytelling could happen. Whether it's a pass, lead change, crash, or something completely different than the two.

As soon as the green flag waves, the adrenaline is flowing. Once the race gets going, that dissipates naturally, meaning one must focus even harder. Some tracks boast three and four cars wide the entire time - while others produce single car action. Getting creative, while shooting telling images, can be a challenge at any track which makes motorsports fun.

Wanting to combine the two aforementioned elements with really nice light patterns across the track, I worked hard at making sure I was alert and ready.

This one small incident could have completely changed the outcome of the race and without being ready and in the correct spot, would have been missed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Steering to Victory

"Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida."

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There is no better place to be than Daytona Beach in February.

The Getty Images team spent every day at Daytona International Speedway documenting all the excitement of SpeedWeeks - the opening two weeks of the NASCAR season.

From setting up technology, to shooting portraits during media day, and covering the many practices, qualifying events, and races - each day was challenging, but rewarding.

Every day prepared the team for the Super Bowl of NASCAR - The Daytona 500 - where Joey Logano took home the checkered flag.

After it's all said and done, it's a reminder that hard-work pays off, and there really is no better team to be apart of. Everyone pulls their weight and puts forth everything they have each and every waking hour.

With lots of newsworthy story lines, from Jeff Gordon, big on track accidents, emotions, tensions, owners, fans, and Daytona truly is the epicenter of racing and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Islander on a Misson

"Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the New York Islanders reacts after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period at Wells Fargo Center on February 5, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

There is no greater story in life than a come back - sports is no different - even in regular season.

Coming into Philadelphia, the New York Islanders were looking to come away with a win, and it wasn't going to be easy.

Down a goal relatively early the game, the Islanders fought to come back, and did just that when Cal Clutterbuck scored the tying goal late in the second period.

His goal would give his team the momentum it needed heading into the third period. A sea-saw battle, the game was forced into overtime.

As heated play resumed, the Islanders came away with the win following a shootout, in which, Clutterbuck also stuck the game-winning shot.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Emotional Hoops

"Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to a call against the Washington Wizards in the second half at Verizon Center on January 21, 2015 in Washington, DC."

Like a professional of anything business, athletes days aren't always how they invivsion them.

Some days on the court or field they're perfect - other days - they're a struggle.

Even when they're having an amazing day statistically, a simple foul could shift momentum of the game to give the other team an advantage.

I continually strive to find more and more of these emotional aspects of the games being played in front of my lens. They're storytelling and important to night's game.

During an Oklahoma City Thunder versus Washington Wizards game recently, a small infraction against Kendrick Perkins of the Thunder had him questioning something inside his head during a very tight, exciting game.

In the end, this image would be meaningless to the overall outcome, as the Thunder came out victorious in overtime. But at the time, for a brief second, this meant everything visually.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Outdoor Rink

"Fans cheer as the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Washington Capitals during the third period in the 2015 NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park on January 1, 2015 in Washington, DC."

Typically as a freelancer, the year begins off slow.

Assignments come in gradually as everyone begins to plan out the new year. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to start of the year working as I documented the Winter Classic outdoor hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals for Getty Images.

As much as I wanted to be on the ice, the game is more about the environment. Only one game a year is played outdoors in a venue such as Nationals Park, so I had a lot of fun hustling around the upper deck of the stadium looking for different vantage points.

Near the end of the third period, I found three fans sitting next to one another with the same Capitals jerseys on. I quietly camped out behind them waiting hopefully for a game-winning goal that would cause some jubilation.

It paid off, as these two fans jumped up as the Blackhawks drew a penalty - which added a layer to the already great general view.

The best part of this photo was a couple days later, the gentlemen to the right, had seen this image and connected the dots and emailed thanking me for documenting this moment. He mentioned that he didn't even know the guy to his left and had no idea I was there.

I love when sports fans rally together when they don't even know one another - but I love it more when I can be there to document a scene without them even knowing I was there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Best of 2014 | Sports

"German Meraz attempts to hit Rau'shee Warren in their bantamweights match at the DC Armory on January 25, 2014 in Washington, DC."

CLICK HERE FOR SLIDESHOW

As the year ends, I am proud and humbled by the opportunities presented in 2014.

Much like last year, the days, weeks and months I spent shooting once again revolved heavily around the world of sports. From local venues - and spanning across the country to California and Texas - and Florida more than six times - it has been an amazing journey.

It certainly hasn’t been easy, each assignment presents new challenges, but the inspiration I feed off of from each team I work with makes them exciting to tackle.

I cannot go without thanking all of my clients for keeping me moving each week to document compelling subjects in ideal locations. Each and every opportunity is cherished - and I thank everyone for allowing me to be their eyes by trusting my skills no matter what the story.

My clients trust my abilities to not only photograph athletes and the worlds they play and live in, but to also enjoy the often overlooked relationships of building deeper bonds with teammates I work alongside - both photographers and editors.

As always, a deep gratitude, and thank you, to everyone at Getty Images for keeping my vision looking for the extraordinary. It goes without saying they continually keep my cameras active for which I am forever indebted. Most, if not all, of the images in this gallery have been documented when apart of the Getty team.

Without mentioning each and everyone of you - thank you.

As always, I'm excited and looking forward to another full-year of health, happiness and shooting in 2015 - and wish each and everyone of you the same.

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Than Football

"Free safety Ryan Clark #25 of the Washington Redskins tears up during the national anthem before playing the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on December 20, 2014 in Landover, Maryland."

It's quite rare to see pregame emotions from superstar athlete.

Shooting for Getty Images, as the national anthem was starting to be sung, I worked my way down the sideline and found myself behind two Washington Redskins players before kick-off against the Philadelphia Eagles.

One of those players was free safety Ryan Clark. The two were just on the outside edge of the bench and I debated whether or not I'd be able to get closer and in front of them by stepping on the field, but I decided to play by the rules and stay behind the yellow lines.

I didn't really attempt to make any pictures at first because I could only see the back of the heads of the two players. But I grabbed my lens and pointed in the direction of Clark thinking in anything could happen in terms of pyrotechnics or something related.

As Clark turned near the end of the anthem, I could see a tear streaming down his face and a small grimace. It was obvious he was visuablly moved by something.

No one likes to document sadness, but it's our job as photographers to document what we witness. I still don't know what brought on emotion, and it could literally be about anything.

Yet it's always a positive reminder to myself and viewers that these superstar athletes are no different from ourselves and are indeed human.

Monday, December 15, 2014

On One Knee

"Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., #89 of the Baltimore Ravens prays with teammates and players from the Jacksonville Jaguars after the conclusion of an NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland."

As much as games stay the same, there is always something that makes each one different.

Week fifteen had come to an end in Baltimore, and when time expired, the Baltimore Ravens came out victorious over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Paired up with a teammate with Getty Images, we had small game plan for the post game scrum. It was a typical post game with lots of players congregating on the field.

When I started to make my way off the field, I saw Steve Smith Sr., of the Baltimore Ravens remove his helmet.  I instantly noticed a large cross with wings on the back of his neck.

Having photographed the combined team prayer time and time again, I had never noticed Smith's tattoo.

It was rare moment where I pictured an image in my head that then unfolded in front of my lens. It made for different picture of a routine image.

I'll certainly revisit this image next time I document a Ravens game.