Last year was unbelievable. It was my fourth year as a full-time independent photographer, and definitely my most exciting and rewarding. I worked for clients that I used to dream of shooting for, and I got to cover some of the biggest stories of the year and meet some incredible people along the way. I am forever grateful to the folks who hire and trust me to tell stories with my camera, whether it be The New York Times covering the Charleston shootings or the Atlanta Falcons to show a behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a professional football player. I also got featured (twice!) by Instagram and blogged by them, helping me gain over 90k followers! It has been a great year for sure, but I definitely have a long way to go.
I made the short drive over to Talladega this weekend to cover the races. You can’t always count on the racing to be entertaining, like this weekend, but people and sights always deliver. Here is a selection of my favorite images from Saturday and Sunday.
A few months ago, I had one cool assignment, courtesy of Sports Illustrated. I got to hand out with the famous/infamous Don King for a fight he was promoting. The fight, between Eric Molina and Deontay Wilder, was held at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The story was part of SI’s annual “Where Are They Now?” issue. I’ve assisted SI photographers on stories for this issue in years past, so it was a real honor to be shooting this assignment.
At every Falcons game, you can easily spot the photographers stacked on the sidelines, capturing each play, hit, touchdown, tackle, and dog pile. They’re the ones wearing the brown NFL vests and holding thousands of dollars worth of equipment, hoping to be in the best position possible when the Big Play happens. After all, the action is what game day is all about … without that, there would be no fans, no Georgia Dome. But there’s also a ton of action surrounding the game … the fans, the excitement, the pyrotechnics, the dancing. And while photographing the action is extremely fun and rewarding, I absolutely love shooting all the peripheral elements. To me, it’s what brings color to the game.
There were a lot of upset Braves fans yesterday, as they learned that hometown player Jason Heyward would be traded to the Cardinals. Since the Henry County, Ga. native started his professional career with the Braves in 2010, he has been a fan favorite and a lot of fun to watch. As a tribute to Heyward’s time with the Braves, I’m posting a few of my favorite frames of him.
I recently had the opportunity to photograph the Major League Lacrosse championship game, held at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium, for Lacrosse Magazine. It’s not every day that I get to photograph the championship game of a major league sport, so I was super excited about this assignment. Lacrosse is obviously less covered by the media than other major league sports in this country, and that’s a good thing if you’re a photographer. Less coverage means less restrictions, less photographers on the sidelines, less stress, and well, better pictures. Here, Denver Outlaws defenseman Matt Bocklett and teammates celebrate with the Steinfeld Cup after defeating the Rochester Rattlers in dramatic fashion.
It was no surprise to find out that Clayton State women’s basketball head coach Dennis Cox has taken a job on to bigger things. No one in Clayton State athletics history has taken a program so far, so it was only natural that someone with his talent would end up at a larger university (it was announced yesterday that he has accepted the head coaching position for the women’s basketball program at San Francisco State University).
Some assignments change your perspective. Photographing former boxing champ Paul “The Punisher” Williams a few weeks ago was one of them. The assignment was to take a few portraits of Williams for Sports Illustrated’s annual “Where Are They Now?” issue, which published this week. Williams, who had an impressive 41-2 career as a boxer, was paralyzed following a 2012 motorcycle accident in Marietta, Ga. I photographed him at the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center in Atlanta.
I have been covering racing at the national level (NASCAR, NHRA) for several years now, but there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of racing at small, hometown tracks like Senoia Raceway. I’ve been driving past this track, which is right off Ga. Hwy 16 between Griffin and Newnan, since 2005, but had never been to a race there until earlier this month.