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.

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

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 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.

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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.

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.

Hoops Season Begins

Sports Photography

My 17th college basketball season began this November at LMU. Yes, 17. Where did it go. And it started with same energy, the same optimism that any new season brings. It also brought with it the start of an 18-game home schedule. Oh boy, is this one gone be a long one. It started with a trip to Nevada, as I got to sneak out and see the super moon (very cool) and then home for a match-up rarely season at Gersten Pavilion – national power UConn in town. And it was a classic. Check out the start of basketball season HERE.

Mattias Markusson LMU men's basketball vs. UCONN on Nov. 17, 2016

Mattias Markusson LMU men’s basketball vs. UCONN on Nov. 17, 2016

Day at the Park

Noteworthy Shoots, Sports Photography

Nothing like a cloudless Southern California day in the mid 70s with the breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean. And nothing like spending it at the park. In this case, the ball park. It was Senior Day for LMU baseball at Page Stadium and it was a family affair. From parents honoring their graduating sons, to families bringing their kids – including those with four legs. The Page Stadium red-tailed hawk drew quite the crowd. Oh, there was quite the baseball game too (it went extra innings). Check out the images in the latest PHOTO GALLERY.

Home Opener

Noteworthy Shoots, Sports Photography

There is something about the home opener in the sport of baseball, especially under the lights. The sunsets, the grass cut to perfection, the crisp lines and the hope of a new year. LMU’s home opener came against USC. I couldn’t work with a better staff, as they – in the middle of the stretch run in basketball – found a way to put together programming that brought in the largest crowd at Page Stadium in program history. From the first pitch by the new president, to a perfect Southern California sunset, it was a night that had many talking days after. I am proud to be a Lion! Take a look.

WSOC: 2015 – A Sweet 16 Season

Noteworthy Shoots, Sports Photography

The 2015 LMU women’s soccer season had its best season in program history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. They defeated Cal and Minnesota (both 1-0) in the first two rounds respectively. The Lions finished 15-6-1 overall and 7-2-0 in WCC play, setting program records for overall wins and league wins along the way. CLICK HERE for select shots from their home games during their Sweet 16 run.