For the 4th year in a row I was fortunate enough to be selected to shoot along side some of the world’s best photographers at the Super Bowl as part of the NFL photo team. Let me take a quick moment to thank NFL lead photographer and photo editor Ben Liebenberg for once again inviting to be a part of the crew. My shooting position was on the field in one of the Eagles’ end zone corners. If you saw the game you know that there was a lot of touchdowns scored. As luck would have it, not a single one actual occurred in my corner! That’s just how it goes sometimes. Despite not being super close, I finally had a nice angle on the last touchdown of the game…a spectacular dive (and bobble…and catch) into the end zone by Eagles’ tight end Zach Ertz which proved to be the pivotal score of the game.
After the game my assignment was to photograph the closest quarterback to my position. That just so happened to be Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles. I was able to find him relatively quickly and stick with him until he made his way up on the winner’s podium. This year’s post-game scrum was noticeably less chaotic than in previous years and I’m not exactly sure why. When I first got to Nick Foles, shockingly there was hardly anyone around him at all. The crowd of NFL personnel and photographers slowly grew but the PR staff quickly isolated Nick away from the majority of the other players on the field. In fact, much to my surprise Tom Brady never made his way over to shake his hand.
Some of my favorite images are the moments Nick shared with his wife and daughter after the game. I know that my wife and two young children are my biggest motivator in life and it’s nice to see that emotion shared with big time professional athletes.
I was extremely thankful again this year to be asked back by the NFL to photograph Super Bowl LI as a part of their photo team. The amount of talent and experience in the group is nothing short of phenomenal and it was extremely flattering to be asked to be a part of the team again.
Compared to shooting regular season games, Super Bowls are their own animal that are generally approached a little differently. Normally when I cover games I’m shooting with at most one other person and occasionally by myself and I’m totally comfortable with that. I follow the game up and down the field and try and put myself in the best position to capture impactful moments. Working with a larger group of eight other photographers at the Super Bowl, my task is different…stay in one spot (this time, a corner of the Falcons end zone) and make sure I have that area covered. Working with a team of other photographers is always something I enjoy. Everyone has each other’s backs and you know if something is out of your range, someone else has got you covered.
Sometimes you are lucky…yes, lucky enough to be in a spot where action comes your way. From experience, that doesn’t always happen. I was fortunate to be in a position to capture some pivotal plays of the game and when added to the amazing shots captured by the rest of the crew, we ended up with a body of work that we all can be proud of.
My post-game assignment was to follow the winning quarterback. Immediately I knew I was going to be in for a challenge as the post game scrums after the Super Bowl rival some of the actual rugby scrums I was in in college. Luckily the last play of the game, the winning touchdown scored by James White, happened right in front of me. I was able to make any image of the score then sprint over to Tom Brady and try my best to stick with him amongst the chaos and hopefully make some nice images. I’m always critical of my performance, so I’ll let my editors determine how successful I was, but I’m always up for a challenge and I think I made a few frames that captured the emotion of the moment.
A few of my favorite images from the 2016 NFL preseason…
With every new year there are new clients and 2015 presented me with some great opportunities.
Most of you know that I am a team photographer for the Ravens and while I love the work that I do with them, it’s not a full time gig. I work with a variety of other editorial and commercial clients throughout the year creating work that usually is not related to football.
However, last year was a little different. Aside from having the chance to photograph the Super Bowl as a part of the NFL’s photo team I was hired by the Green Bay Packers to create marketing imagery for their 2015 season.
My availability is always first committed to the Ravens, but since I only shoot about half of their away games, I do have a few weekends off during the season. I was able to make it to Green Bay for a few practices and games and although I was shooting on field action, I was primarily focusing more on non action images.
It’s always interesting to see how other NFL teams operate and The Packers, much like the Ravens are a great organization and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to work with them.
Here are a few of my favorite images from my time with them.