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I’ve had many days at Lambeau Field while covering the Green Bay Packers that felt like all the action and touchdowns happened in the opposite end zone from me. I’ve been covering the north end zone at Lambeau Field as part of a wire service team since the late ’90s. Today, I felt bad for the NFL photographers covering the south end zone. Everything came my way as the Green Bay Packers beat the Carolina Panthers 38-17. I think I did a nice job of catching that action. With this win, the Packers bring their winning streak to four games and are 5-2 in the season.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the game.
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One of my favorite corporate photography clients has a very strong visual corporate identity. Schneider, a Green Bay, Wisconsin based trucking company, is known for their orange trucks and trailers. As a photographer, I love having that orange truck as a background for portraits; that truck was my background for recent driver and executive portraits. As part of their associate appreciation week, Schneider wanted to open up the opportunity to the rest of their associates to have a portrait done with a truck. Here is a large sample of some of those portrait shots done in one day with the help of some great Wisconsin fall weather.
My assistant and I kept things simple with just two lights, a main and a hair light. We also kept the subjects in the shadow of a large scrim to reduce the effects of the harsh sunlight and to reduce squinting. When you shoot portraits of a 150 subjects in one day, you don’t have a lot of time to get to know the subjects and make them feel comfortable in front of the camera; with our limited time, I think we did a great job.
Schneider will be giving the photo files to the associates as a thank you to be used for things such as social media profile photos or Christmas card photos, as a few of the subjects mentioned. So if you get a holiday card this year with a big orange truck in the background, it may have come from this shoot.
Being an editorial photographer covering NFL football games, it’s important to tell the entire story of the game. For most NFL photographers, that story begins and ends on the field. But for me, the story begins with a photo or two of fans tailgating outside the stadium. On Thursday October 2nd, I decided to start my story telling earlier than usual for a game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I arrived at the stadium about five hours before kickoff – way before they would even let fans into the parking lot to begin their pre-game rituals. I found a couple of fun features -one a dummy hanging out of the sunroof of a car waiting to get in to the parking lot – and while shooting that photo, I used a little vision and a car side mirror to show how a couple of Packers fans relax while waiting.
Another important part of the story on Thursday night was that it was the first NFL football game in October, so the first game that players, coaches, officials, and fans, etc. would be wearing pink to bring awareness to breast cancer. Often these photos aren’t exciting to take, but they are important, so I tried to use a little vision to make them more interesting.
The game ended up being a blowout 42-10 win for the Green Packers over the Minnesota Vikings on a damp night at Lambeau Field. I geared myself up as best I could for the forecasted rain, but I wasn’t excited about shooting a game where I needed to focus on keeping my gear dry. We did get some heavy rain to start the game, but by the beginning of the second quarter, the rain moved on and I was able to shed my camera covers.
I was happy that I got some decent shots of most of the key moments of the game. As with any sporting event, you always second guess yourself. I wasn’t real happy with the photos I got of Packers Jordy Nelson’s 66 yard touchdown. I got a shot of the catch, but he is all alone and the photo gives no context of his proximity to the other players. On the other hand, I was pleased with the photos I got of Julius Pepper’s touchdown run after making an interception. He was heading to the end zone opposite of my position, but the side view I was able to get early in his run ended up being a nice shot.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the day and early afternoon.
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My wife Judy and I recently visited the Apostle Islands area of Lake Superior. On our fist day there, we took the ferry out to Madeline Island and biked around. I hauled my camera with, but knew it would be a flat light overcast day and probably not great for pictures . While biking to the ferry to head back to the mainland, the sun broke out of the low hanging clouds for just a couple of seconds. Luckily we were biking past a park that had a number of sailboats moored not far from the shore. I yelled to Judy that I would catch up with her and went off road with my bike to get down to the shore as quickly as possible. I dumped my bike a few feet from the shore and dropped down in to the sandy beach to get as low of an angle as possible. I had just a couple of seconds to take advantage of this amazing light that was popping a warm glow on to the water in the midst of the cool blue clouds. As quickly as it appeared, the amazing light vanished and my artistic vision was gone, but I knew I had my shot. As I headed back to my bike, a gentleman enjoying a beer and a family picnic in the park must have noticed my frantic rush to the shore. As I walked past him he said to me “not a real good day for pictures, huh!” I nodded in agreement and said maybe tomorrow, but as most photographers know blue sky, bright sun days can be great for pictures, but are also a dime a dozen. Unique and fleeting light can set a picture apart and I think on this day I captured exactly that.
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