In the last 8 years I have photographed a lot of NFL football games…all of which were shot as a team photographer for the Baltimore Ravens. A few days ago I photographed my first NFL game that did not involve the Ravens…It just so happened to be the Super Bowl. A few weeks ago I was contacted by the NFL asking if I wanted to be a part of their photo team if the Ravens didn’t make the Super Bowl. Of course I said yes. (Insert a giant thank you to Ben and the rest of the photo crew for having me along)
I was excited to be able to approach a game purely as a photojournalist, not caring who won or lost, just there to capture what happened. Although this was my first time shooting the Super Bowl for the NFL, it was not my first Super Bowl. I was with the Ravens when they won the Super Bowl two years ago. Naturally things were a little different. As a team photographer I am allowed on the field during pre game warmups, in the locker room and inside the bench area. That was not the case in Arizona (which I expected). During a game for the Ravens I roam the entire sideline working opposite the team’s other photographer Phil Hoffmann. For the NFL I was stationed in the same corner of the field for the entire game.
My assignment? Shoot whatever happens in front of my lens. After the game, I had a more specific task. Originally I was supposed to shoot the winning coach. Just before the game things got switched around so that each photographer would just shoot the coach/QB on their sideline. I just happened to be on the Seahawks sideline. Although not as fun as shooting the winner, I made a few frames of Pete Carroll shaking hands with Bill Belichick then somberly walking off the field. After that I tried my best to work my way back into the media scrums which were already jam-packed.
All in all it was a great experience for me. Although I’d love it if the Ravens went to the Super Bowl every year, if they don’t, hopefully I’ll still make my way on to the field.