Master at Her Craft

Noteworthy Shoots

To work in sports, you have to be willing to get experience any way you can. In my career I have worked a club rodeo championship, a local horse shoe tournament, a regional motor cross tour, most high school sports, and even covered local little leagues. I loved covering those events, and that also led me to work John Elway’s final Super Bowl, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning’s collegiate finales, Michael Jordan pour it on against the Miami Heat, Gonzaga reach number one in the nation, and more college basketball than I can count. And the one thing that stands out more than anything else, is when you watch an athlete stand above the rest. It is in their body language. It’s how they operate. Then you watch them perform the sport they were born to play. It is beauty in motion. I got a chance to see just that when I had the opportunity to photograph LMU cross country at their first meet of the season. It isn’t a spot in the mainstream spotlight, but I to watch an All-American just out smart and out run the field. Danielle Shanahan can run. See what my camera caught in the gallery Master at Her Craft.

More than Games

Noteworthy Shoots, Sports Photography

Now that I am with Special Olympics Southern California, I had the opportunity to work my first Summer Games. It is one of more than 200 events a year but it is the biggest. If you ask any of the athletes, it is the one they look forward to. It is the championships. It is their final four. It is their super bowl. It is their moment. And it showed. I had many duties, but I had the chance to sneak away with the cameras a couple times.

Day one featured a festival, free health screenings, a behind scenes look at volunteers from Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions making 8,000 lunches, and the most memorable dunk “contest” ever.

Day two was on the track and at the pool. I snuck by the awards podium at the swim venue. If you have a chance, I encourage everyone out there to go to your state’s summer games and watch the medal ceremonies. You will shed a tear. And then there was the show stopper. The young athletes exhibition on the track. A pair of young ones stole the show.

Enjoy what I saw behind the lens (galleries linked by the day above).

2017 Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games Day Two June 11, 2017 Swimming

No Words Can Explain

Life Photography, Noteworthy Shoots, Sports Photography

After 17 years at Loyola Marymount, I began an new adventure with Special Olympics Southern California. Two weeks into my new role, I had the opportunity to shoot my first event. The Spring Regional Games in Santa Clarita Valley. It was followed by the Spring Regionals in Pomona and then the San Diego Regional Games.I am not sure words can properly express what I got to see. The spirit. The joy. The determination. A nine-year old stole my heart. A volunteer was a show-stopper. A bocce athlete was just happy to play. A father-daughter combo brought tears to the eyes.Every one had stories of love, perseverance, determination, inclusion and so much more. The imagery was amazingly overwhelming. The people – no words can explain.

Special Olympic Southern California 2017 San Diego County Spring Region Carlsbad High School May 27, 2107 bocce celebration

Pure Joy

Noteworthy Shoots, Sports Photography

This spring, I had the opportunity to view through the lens my god-daughter takeoff. After spending her first year of swimming and water polo dealing with aches and pains caused by a massive growth spurt, she was finally healthy (thank you Shaun) for year two. And she thrived. This little peanut became a competitor before my eyes. As someone who has spent their life in sports and has witnessed its amazing beauty, getting to view someone you helped raise find their own way, well, that is pure joy. Take a look at what I got to see in the gallery A COMPETITIVE PEANUT.

Culver City High School Swimming vs. Torrance North The Plunge Mar. 8, 2017

A Grand Finale

Noteworthy Shoots

After 17 years at Loyola Marymount University, I said goodbye on March 17. Wrapping up a part of my life that will always be dear to my heart. I have labored quite a bit on what to write. What to say. How to thank the countless peers and co-workers who have made the last 17 years – well, in the words of my mentor, Dr. William Husak – spectacular. I leave so much better a person than when I came (and a bunch older, unfortunately).

In the spirit of a good Jesuit education, I learned about the “whole person” inside me and leave wanting to make an impact on the world. I guess that is the best thing I can say to all of those people whose value in my life can’t be described in words (you know who you are). I leave a better person because of each of you. This is a photo and creative blog, and so with that, I share the final weeks of my tenure at LMU through the photos I shot. My final day ended, fittingly, on the pool deck at the LMU Invitational working a 13-hour day.

Oh, water polo, who would have thunk! A perfect game was throw in there too. Thank you LMU baseball and Corey Abbott for a grand sendoff.

Click the images to see more of that gallery. Find a bunch more HERE.

Brandon Brown 2017 WCC Championships Quarterfinal LMU vs. BYU Las Vegas, NV Orleans Arena Mar. 4, 2017

Kiana Etrata in the morning fog LMU women’s water polo vs. Michigan LMU Invitational Mar. 17, 2027

Cory Abbott embraces his catcher Copper Uhl after perfect game LMU baseball vs. BYU Mar. 25, 2017

Senior Jessica Perez of LMU women’s tennis vs. Yale on Mar. 15, 2017 at the LMU Tennis Center

A Davenport Adventure

Noteworthy Shoots

 

Meet John (great name by the way).

For a decade I have been staying at the iconic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane as I travel with the LMU basketball team. And each year a wonderful man has welcomed us in his classic top hat and red uniform. So I decided to grab the camera and see if I could get to know him. And he took me on a great adventure.

Davenport Hotel Doorman John, his 64th year with the hotel. Began in 1953.

Davenport Hotel Doorman John, his 64th year with the hotel. Began in 1953.

He has been working at the Davenport for 64 years. Yes. 64. Since 1953. He started as a graveyard bell hop (his favorite role by the way). He has done everything at the hotel. He worked the casino that use to be there. He was part of a group of people that cared for the historic building while it was closed from the mid-1980s until it reopened in 2001. He organized weddings. Coordinated special events. And now, serving as the most welcoming doorman.

He has met Burt Reynolds, Steve McQueen and Betty White, to name just a few. He loves his hat. He couldn’t think of doing anything else. It gets him out of the house. Oh, he’s 84.

He clearly is the face of this historic hotel as countless guests greeted him by name, fellow co-workers said hellos through hugs, and guests knew they were welcomed. He works four days a week, Thursday through Sunday from 7:30 to 3:30 pm. So if you want to feel welcomed, maybe get a good hug, then you know where to go.

It is people that make life the big adventure it is. I am so glad I got to get to know him through my lens and hear his story. Check out this Davenport Icon.

A Year Behind the Lens

Noteworthy Shoots

The year of 2016 was the year of the camera for me. Those who have known me the longest know Dad threw an old Pentax in my had at around six years of age. So I have had a camera in my hand for quite some time. It put me through school. It defined college and high school. It took a hiatus as my career headed to the world of college bowl games and sunny Miami. But it never left.

The last five years the camera has come back. In a big way and it has become a part of my professional journey, for sure. But it grew to be a part of my every day, defining my adventures. I took more images this past calendar year than any before and as I looked back at what I captured – I have been truly blessed.

20160702-JDS_8550

From a road trip where the fisheye remained on the dashboard, to thousands of images from the basketball arenas around the country, the camera was at my side. The blue angels never disappoint. Mother nature, truly one of my favorite subjects. The simplicity and peace of the first-ever 14er to the family trek to Miramar.

2016 Miramar Air Show  U.S. Navy Blue Angels

2016 Miramar Air Show U.S. Navy Blue Angels

So many have joined me on this journey with the camera and what a fun ride this year was. I tried to find some of my favorites in MY BEST OF 2016. I am sure I left some out. In fact I know I did… but it is on to 2017. I can’t wait.

Christmas Hike

Noteworthy Shoots

For Christmas I decided to put together some photo books for those that mean so much to me, putting together some of my favorites. The theme for this book was my love of nature. And in putting together these books, I realized I have been truly blessed to be in a profession and live an active life that has taken me and my camera around the world. And I was amazed at the images I had taken over the last decade. But one thing became clear – I live in one of the most amazing outdoor places in the world where you can surf and ski on the same day (well, traffic can often say otherwise) and yet, I had not really taken the camera out on an adventure right in my backyard.

Well, I changed that. I am not shy about claiming Colorado as home. But Southern California has been where I have laid my head for 17 years and it, too, has given me great blessings. So I ventured out with my newest gear (thank you loved ones for outfitting me for great hikes) and got some amazing shots of the Pacific Ocean and the ever popular Santa Monica Mountains. Also met some incredible people, too.

Yup, truly blessed. Check-out my SoCal Christmas.

Buzzer Beaters

Noteworthy Shoots

Co-workers of mine thought it was funny to collect images of me doing all random tasks as part of being an SID. No, you won’t find these images here.

But through them, I was exposed to the many moments that make up an #SIDLIFE. And I have been reflecting on that a lot lately, thus my last post An SID Life. Being a Sports Information Director – a title I actually can’t stand as it is old school and so not what we do today in our industry – is not for the faint of heart. I have often reflected on the aspect of our job: the first to arrive, last to leave and the one expected to fix it all. A fitting line of work, one that has blessed me a great deal.

The month of December has been a reminder of the fun part of this job. I get to cover, photograph and work in sporting events that produce the “buzzer beater.” One of the more thrilling moments in sports. The build-up is obvious as the game reaches its climax. But it is still sudden. In an instant one group is in a mass hysteria of victory and dance while the other in a state of shock and sadness.

This month I have had a chance to be a part of not one, but four of these moments. There was the tough loss to on Dec. 5 that saw the winning shot fall short to Boise State. After a win over Southern Utah (photo gallery here) that didn’t go to the buzzer but still saw the opponent make it a one possession game in the final minutes. Next was a senior transfer taking advantage of a new home by hitting the game winner on the road against CSUN on Dec. 10. Then on Dec. 17 came not one, but two games decided at or beyond the buzzer. LMU’s women lost on a clutch three-pointer to UC Riverside and then the LMU men hit 11 straight free throws to force overtime and then win it 91-90 (as blogged in An SID LIFE).

Stefan Jovanovic LMU men's basketball at CSUN at Matadome Dec. 10, 2016 in Northridge, CA

Stefan Jovanovic LMU men’s basketball at CSUN at Matadome Dec. 10, 2016 in Northridge, CA

Then came the latest, a three-pointer with 0.9 left by a senior guard who has been given a second chance. A story that defines college athletics. Brandon Brown, who will talk about his mistakes as a 17-year-old but his determination to learn from it, is not letting a moment go to waste in his senior season. He has been on fire of late, and his game winner is the latest moment in his amazing story (a great article was done by the Loyolan’s Daniel Palladini on Nov. 11, 2015). And he calmly used a screen by that same senior transfer Stefan Jovanovic to drain a three-pointer from NBA-range to defeat CSU 69-66 on the road.

Brandon Brown LMU men's basketball at Colorado State Dec. 19, 2016 Moby Arena

Brandon Brown LMU men’s basketball at Colorado State Dec. 19, 2016 Moby Arena

And I got to shoot it all. Not some of my best images, but a stretch of games that helps me battle through the hard parts of this profession and remind me what a fun ride it is.

Thankful For Home

Noteworthy Shoots

This past Thanksgiving there was enough break between basketball games to take a rare trip home for the holiday. Still had to travel back the day of Thanksgiving, but I got a good five days home. And the front range of Colorado delivered. One brief rain/snow storm did a traditional Colorado pass, arrive in the morning gone by midday. And the result was that perfect blue sky and weather the best anywhere.

I took advantage. Here is what I saw on my trip home: THANKSGIVING GALLERY.

 

Waneka Lake Dusk Longs Peak Colorado Early Winter Thanksgiving 2016 Fisheye Shore Sunset

Waneka Lake Dusk Longs Peak Colorado Early Winter Thanksgiving 2016 Fisheye Shore Sunset