The Boston Red Sox are once again World Champions. Two times in six years and four times since 2004 is seriously impressive, historic stuff.
I’ve been going nonstop for the past two months on this ride. I’m exhausted physically, creatively, and emotionally, but things are now slowing down and I’m finally finding time to get to this blog post.
This is my second World Series win as a team photographer for the Boston Red Sox in my seven years here. It’s not supposed to happen like that. I know great photographers who have gone decades without a crack at the World Series. I don’t take the opportunity for granted and I know how lucky I am. The Red Sox are an organization that is deeply committed to winning, and all of us who work here are lucky to work for a team that is always playing meaningful baseball.
In 2013, there was a higher purpose to the season. That World Series team helped heal a city in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The season felt heavier emotionally. It seemed like we partied more, rejoiced in the highest highs more fully, and felt the lowest lows more deeply. 2018 was all business. This team was the best team in baseball from beginning to end, and there was no doubt about it. From a work standpoint, it was way busier. There’s just more work to be done now than six years ago. I’m not complaining though. It’s pretty cool to have been there to document the best team to ever exist in the 100 plus year history of the franchise.
On a personal level, I’ve grown since 2013. This year was my first as Manager of Photography for the team, so navigating the new role was both rewarding and challenging. I had big shoes to fill. Looking back at my work from 2013, I know I’ve gotten a lot better, and figured out how to play “the game” more effectively when it comes to sports photography and getting the access I need, both with the team and in my freelance work. I was pretty green in 13.
But success only goes as far as the team you have around you, and I have the best team in baseball to work with. My photo staff – Matt Thomas, Reggie Thomas, Sarah Stier, Kathryn Riley, and freelancers Brita Outzen and Cindy Loo – are all so talented and worked so hard this year. They should all be proud of the body of work they’ve produced. Our creative services team of designers, VR producers, and social media experts bring all these pictures to life and make our content pop. Most professional sports teams don’t have such a fluid creative group in working order, and we should all be proud of the work we do together as a team. My girlfriend Alaina puts up with my long hours, road trips away, and constant e-mails without complaint. She is the best and I’m lucky to have her here with me. My parents, family, and close friends always support me and also understand the grueling nature of this job. Where would I be without them?
Here’s a gallery of photos from the final game! A big thanks to everyone for following along all season. It was fun. Damage Done.
The past several weeks covering the Red Sox historic and dramatic ride through the playoffs and into the World Series have been unbelievable. For me, it still hasn’t sunk in that we won the World Series, and all of the games and events leading up to now seem so surreal.
Speaking of surreal, how’s shooting photographs on a duck boat with Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second basemen Dustin Pedroia and John McDonald while over a million of Boston’s best fans scream at you as you roll along Boylston Street and along the Charles River during the Rolling Rally championship parade? That’s the situation I found myself in last Saturday, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget as long as I live.
Covering a parade is something not many photographers get to do, let alone be stationed on a float or duck boat, so I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity. It’s moments like these which serve as a refreshing reminder why the life of a photojournalist can, at times, be so rewarding, unique, and just plain fun.
These are my favorite images from the parade. There wasn’t much room to maneuver up on top of the boat, but I tried to get some good shots of the guys interacting with fans and holding the trophy, as well as to set the scene with both overall and close-up fan features.
I think my ears are still ringing from all the screaming. Not that I’m complaining, for the record.
The Boston Red Sox are the champions of the world and my long time dream of working for the team and photographing them win the World Series has come true.
It still hasn’t completely sunk in, to be honest, but I’m finally finding a little bit of time to at least get this post together and reflect on this whole experience.
I’m thrilled that we were ultimately able to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, but I’ll start off by acknowledging that had we lost, I still would have felt incredibly lucky to have been a part of this year’s run during the regular season, through the playoffs, and into the World Series. There are journalists, writers, photographers, and other team employees of all types that go their entire careers without the chance to work a World Series, let alone win one. I think that’s important to keep in mind. In no way do I take this opportunity for granted.
Shooting for a team as opposed to a newspaper or magazine or wire service is different in that you’re far more invested in the team’s performance. Not only is that notion of journalistic independence from your subjects gone, but your life revolves around the organization. You spend every day at the Park. You work with people from all parts of the organization, from media relations to marketing to baseball operations to the players and coaches themselves. Just as Major Leaguers make it their goal to win the World Series every year, I go about my work with the same mentality: bring it every day and do my part to make that happen. It must be the athlete in me.
Our left fielder, Jonny Gomes, said it best over the microphone at a gathering with players and front office members just hours after the team won: “You guys are champs, too.”
This year has been unlike any other Boston has ever seen, and this was the perfect ending to a tragic but inspirational story that has grown since Marathon Monday back in April. I feel lucky to have done my part in documenting all the great work the Boston Red Sox organization has done in response to help heal the city, from charity events to pre-game ceremonies to thrilling wins. From the first game back at Fenway after the bombings to the game six of the World Series, this organization has embodied what “Boston Strong” is all about. It became the common thread that kept everyone together.
I got my first taste of the playoffs last year in Baltimore while shooting two games of the ALDS between the Orioles and the Yankees at Camden Yards, but from a professional standpoint, this year’s playoff experience was constructive and valuable for me. With the playoffs comes a whole new set of responsibilities: arranging photo positions in the pits, working to accommodate scores of photographers from all over the world in your home stadium, traveling to work in other cities and stadiums, and pushing images out at a pace, quantity, and quality bigger and better than usual. Many of these things I hadn’t dealt with before. It’s all great fun, but it is a grind. Needless to say, I have yet to catch up on sleep, and I’m glad that these games are over for awhile. They were tense, to say the least, and watching them was both physically and emotionally exhausting at times.
Baseball’s biggest stage also brings the world’s most talented sports photographers and editors into one place, so as a young photographer, it was a pleasure to meet so many shooters whose work I admire, and to re-connect with colleagues I’ve met before.
This job is demanding and at times very grueling, so I’m thankful to many people for helping me along the way. I owe thanks to all my family and friends for their unconditional love, support, and understanding (even the O’s and Yankees fans, people who think baseball is boring, etc.). I also owe thanks to all those in the Red Sox community, and in particular, to the photography staff I work with. Mike, Brita, Cindy, Brian, Steve, Cummo and Marissa are all ridiculously talented photographers, and more importantly, are all great people. I’m honored to have gotten the opportunities I’ve had as a part of that group.
Here are the photos from the game six victory! Thanks so much for following along all season. It’s been a dream come true.