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.
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.