I have officially photographed five Rams football games for Team Social. Every time I gain a better feel for how to capture the excitement of game day. As the new on-campus stadium is the center of attention this year, it has been my goal to show off the facility in all of its glory.
I am lucky enough to live one minute from the stadium. This allows me to run home, edit together the social media shot, post before half-time, get back to photograph the rest of the game, and have an album ready to post before the end of the day. Every game I look to capture the four main sources of energy and emotion: The Stadium, The Mascot, The Players, and The Fans. Somewhere in all of it, I will find my way into the stands and enjoy the game with friends in the student section.
This post is very photo-heavy, but how can I express how jam packed game day is without showing off the proof?
CAM the Ram is an active mascot. He can be hard to keep track of, especially since he exists in two different forms. Four-legged CAM has a pretty standard schedule, but two-legged CAM is all over the place. I will often follow him in circles around the field before finding the shot I want. As I have spent more time on the field, CAM has come to realize when I’m in position for a shot. I like to think that four-legged CAM recognizes me and poses as well.
Most photographers on the field are holding multiple cameras and numerous lenses. Sports photographers are known for their incredibly fast telephoto lenses, but I am content with my 24-120mm f/4. I am not going for the newspaper shot, my goal is to capture the energy and emotion present on the field and in the stadium. The constraint to a single lens drives the creativity in my photos.
With each new game I get better at timing predictable shots. If I miss an entrance photo that I wanted, I know how to achieve it the next game.
Having an interest in the game helps me stay ahead of every play. Whether I am right or wrong, making predictions as to who will receive the ball and where keeps me entertained throughout the game. Between all other shots of interest in the stadium, I find myself right on the goal line ready to capture the next touchdown.
Fans are the energy. If energy is low, I’ll make a lap on the field just to get the fans excited to have their picture taken.
If energy is high, then that’s when you really capture the essence of gameday. These are the moments I look to share with the world.