I’m 30,000 feet above somewhere in the middle of the country, flying back to freezing cold Boston after an unforgettable three weeks working at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
This was the second year in a row I’ve shot this tournament, and it was amazing to see how much it grew in just 12 months time, not only in the size of the venue itself, but also in the scope of our digital and social media operation. Tennis is a progressive sport, and as journalists we’re lucky that this tournament embraces the ever-changing, expansive world of social media and digital technology.
Our website crew of six people last year nearly doubled in size this year, as did the quality and quantity of the content we produced as a result. Writing, blogging, photo, video, social media on just about any platform imaginable – we did it all, and at a level that’s comparable to any other tennis tournament or sporting event in the world. It’s a really exciting line of work to be a part of.
This is without a doubt a glamorous event by professional tennis standards, and I have to pinch myself sometimes when I find myself in situations like yesterday, standing two feet away from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the player’s tunnel against the backdrop of the scenic California desert. But from a photographer’s perspective, these few weeks are a grind. The pace is grueling, most days easily going 13 or 14 hours long, and climbing up and down stadium steps with huge camera equipment in the 90 plus degree sun all day can be brutal. It’s no vacation.
But as I finally find the time to reflect upon the whole experience for a few minutes, it’s clear that the memories I’ve made and the people I’ve met and worked with make it all worthwhile.
There are so many people I could shout out, but there are a few I have to mention here. Thank you to Dee Dee Felich and Cindy Liberati, for working so hard throughout the year to make this tournament such a great place to come back to each year, and for embracing and supporting the work that we do. To our fearless leader Matt Van Tuinen, thank you for the opportunity to work, not just in Indian Wells but throughout the years. Nobody in the world of media does it better than you and it’s impressive to watch. Thanks also to social media guru and all around rockstar Nick McCarvel for the brilliance, leadership, guidance, and navigation through this crazy world of tennis. Michael Cummo and Lauren Foley, my Boston Red Sox contingent of photographers and videographers, both did an incredible job and their talent and hustle is top notch. And to everyone else on our crew – Fred Sidhu, Craig Gabriel, Stephen Villatoro, Rodrigo Azurmendi, David Rosenberg, and Erwin Ong – thanks for doing what you do and doing it so well. I’m lucky to work with such talented individuals.
The images above are the highlights from the men’s and women’s finals matches.
Now it’s time to switch gears yet again. Opening day at Fenway Park is just a few short weeks away!