Shooting the #1 Team in the Country

I posted photos from my first NFL game a couple of weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to shoot another game this past weekend. This time it was a college game, and I got to see the #1 team in the country, Alabama, play UK. It was pretty exciting to see AJ McCarron and company in action! This was my first UK game to shoot and I was really impressed with all the buzz during the pre game. There were a LOT of other photographers on the side lines, but I still managed to get where I needed to be for most of the game. 


I was really hoping UK could play with them and give us a good game to shoot, and they did for the first half!  Eventually Alabama wore them down with their depth but hey, that's why they are the #1 team in the country almost every year! There isn't much fall off from their starters to their second unit.


When I shoot for Athlon Sports I will have a shot list of certain players for every game. Shooting for them isn't like shooting for a wire service or news outlet. They are less concerned about "shooting the game" and more worried about getting shots of the main players for the magazine and website. So, if you are wondering why a lot of my images are vertical (horizontal seems to be the trend), that is why. They want clean shots of players that are as big as possible to cut out. 


Because I have a "hit list" (which includes coaches), it makes sense to take advantage of the pre game as well. Because you can only go from the end zone to the 25 or 30 yard line on the field, it can be hard to get photos of them (even with a 400mm lens). I got a few of Bama coach Nick Saban, but didn't get a chance to get any shots of UK's coach Mark Stoops. Luckily he looked right at me in the 3rd quarter. It was right after Alabama scored a TD so he didn't appear to be too happy, but I'll take it. :-) 


The game ended up pretty lop-sided (48-7), but it was still really fun to shoot! UK may not be where they want to be yet, but they are headed in the right direction. I can't wait to see what Stoops and his staff do in the years to come. Hopefully I'll be there for several more games to witness it firsthand. Thanks again to Athlon and their photo editor, Tim, for sending me to Lexington!