Brad Smith, the former director of photography at Sports Illustrated, says, “Photo shoot is Latin for “‘problem.’” Problems are relative, of course, but there is something about a photo shoot that seems to generate more than its fair share of hurdles to clear. Overcoming those problems can be one of the most satisfying parts of creating photographs—especially when you’re working with more than 70 of the world’s best athletes at the MLB All-Star Game.
Photography gets under your skin. It burrows itself into your soul and infects you for a lifetime. It chooses you. When you meet other people who also love photography, their energy is infectious and it’s deeply inspiring to be around. They understand your obsession. And they want to talk about the virus that’s infected us all.
One of the reasons to fear location photography is the terror you experience when you first see the space you have to work with. The sun may be in the wrong place, the site may be difficult to reach, or the room may be cramped. But, solving those challenges is also what can make location photography so deeply satisfying.
Football players are built differently than the rest of us. They’re taller, they’re wider, and some of them weigh as much as three cheerleaders. But what happens when you have to include 19 of these big men in the same frame for a Sports Illustrated magazine shoot?
Soccer star and swimsuit model Alex Morgan kicks ass—on the soccer field and in a swimsuit. Photographing her for Sports Illustrated is much more than an ordinary editorial assignment. Even after producing more than 50 portrait projects for them, every project arrives with both reverence and responsibility.
One year ending and a new one beginning has always seemed like a perfect time to examine the equipment we use for photography—as well as the way we use it. So many of us become comfortable with a particular camera, a favorite lens, a safe lighting setup, or even the type of lights we use. […]