I’m just returning from jetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida, where I was shooting and editing for several days at Boston Red Sox Spring Training camp. It’s hard to believe it’s already time for baseball. Where did the offseason go?
This year, we’re aiming to amp up our efforts to produce more great multimedia work within the Red Sox photo department, so we hit the ground running in Spring Training. This is one of a series of quick, fifteen second multimedia videos that are being posted to the Red Sox Instagram account. Each one is unique and highlights a different player on the team, be it a returning player from the 2013 World Champion roster or an exciting, young up-and-comer. We aimed to individualize each piece by playing to the personalities of each guy.
We have more players in the works, but I’m as Spring Training is still in its early stages, I’m posting pitchers and catchers here – Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, Henry Owens, Brandon Workman, and A.J. Pierzynski.
Feedback online so far has been great, but as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, questions, and criticisms! Each of these is a combination shooting and editing effort between myself and Red Sox Manager of Photography, Mike Ivins.
On a more general note, as I enter into my fifth season shooting in Major league Baseball, I was really excited to work Spring Training for my first time. It was one aspect of the game I felt I hadn’t gotten to know yet, and this was a nice sampling of what the baseball scene is like down in Florida.
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.