Sunday was a homecoming for two Baltimore football legends. Both showed up to M&T Bank stadium wearing outfits that were in stark contrast to the ones they donned last year.
One in a suit…one in a Houston Texans uniform.
Ray Lewis returned to Baltimore to be inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor and the second he ran through the tunnel, under those red eyes and through the smoke and flames, the stadium erupted right on cue. Fans didn’t seem to mind that he was wearing dress shoes instead of cleats or that he didn’t perform his patented “Squirrel Dance.”
Ed Reed ran out of a different tunnel at M&T for the first time in his career. No smoke, no fire, and despite the overpowering “boo’s” that always welcome the visiting team you could still hear a resounding chant of “Reeeeeed” emerging from the crowd. Cheers for Reed continued throughout the game and it was clear that Baltimore still had a lot of love for their former star. I think they all know that one day, he will have is own ceremony right there on the 50 yard line in Baltimore no matter where he is playing now.
Not long after I posted some of my favorite images from Super Bowl week on this blog, I received an email from Paul Gessler from Fox 45. He was interested in doing a segment with me about my story as one of the team photographers for the Ravens and our journey to the Super Bowl.
I was pretty shocked that there was even that much interest in what I do and at first I was a little hesitant to sit down on the opposite side of the camera and spill my guts.
However, I agreed and Paul and his cameraman Jed came to my studio to do a sit down interview. We talked for quite a while and I went through some of my favorite images from the post season including the Super Bowl and provided the stories behind how I made them.
The segment aired last night and I thought they did a great job. Im always still amazed at how much content gets edited out to make a 2 minute video segment. It is definitely a little weird to see myself talking on TV, but at least I didn’t embarrass myself…I think.
The end is pretty hilarious, its the clip of the “Harbaugh handshake” from the Super Bowl. You can see me getting mugged by all the photographers around me. I am still amazed that I made even one usable frame during that moment.
Anyway, I also wanted to mention that in addition to myself, the Ravens do have another team photographer who has actually been around a lot longer than me. Phil Hoffmann has been the Ravens team photographer since 1996 and has shown me the ropes since I’ve been with the team. Phil is a big reason that I am able to take risks and be more creative on gamedays since I know he is going to be there to get the shot that I may miss.
Secondly, in the beginning of this video you’ll see a still photo of me shooting in my (fashionable) green vest. That photo was taken by super talented local photographer Patrick Smith, definitely check out his work too. Its inspiring.
Lastly thanks to Paul and Jed for being super cool and making this happen…enjoy!
If I sat here and tried to write about all the amazing, emotional, crazy, funny, scary and intense moments I experienced during Super Bowl week I’d never get around to actually posting any pictures and I’d bore you all to death because I am a terrible writer. So, I’ll spare you all the details…
What I will say is that it has been such an honor to follow this team this season through all the highs and lows and everything in between.
I had the opportunity to photograph my first Super Bowl and the team that I work for won…that feels as good as it sounds.
Throughout the week, not everything went as planned and that certainly carried over to the game. As a photographer you are 10% picture taker and 90% problem solver. At the end of the day you do the best you can with the situation you are in and with any luck you make a few nice frames and if you are even luckier you actually enjoy yourself while you are doing it.
Looking back on this experience, I feel pretty darn lucky. I am still trying to convince myself that its impossible to capture every moment or every play. That doesn’t mean that I won’t try every single time.
There is really no other way to sum up the week leading up to the Super Bowl, the game itself and the parade that followed other than to just show you the pictures. Enjoy…
For the second week in a row the Baltimore Ravens defeated a team led by a future hall of fame quarterback…and this time they didn’t need a field goal in double overtime to pull it off.
Although the first half of the AFC Championship got off to a slow start at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, the Ravens absolutely dominated Tom Brady and the Patriots in the second half of the game.
But hey…you already know the details and you already know that the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl…pretty sweet!
However that also means one very important thing… I AM GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL
Let me have my little kid moment.
It really hasn’t sunk in yet. To have the opportunity to photograph on the biggest stage in football, amongst THE BEST photographers in the world is a crazy and somewhat daunting thought.
Luckily I have two weeks to let that thought marinate and focus on shooting the biggest game of my career.