I have shot many NFL football games in the past few years, (14 teams to be exact-but who’s counting?), but this game was by far the biggest in my sporting career.
I shot media day, the Pepsi Smash concert series and then of course the game.
Let me explain how the process worked once I got there. I checked in all of my gear through security, lying all of my gear on the ground for the Police dogs to sniff, and then through a metal detector to check me out, very similar to an airport screening. I was then given a yellow vest with the words Upper Level Photographer on the back. I was originally told to leave ALL monopods and tripods at home, we would not be allowed to use them. Imagine if you will holding a 400mm lens with a teleconverter attached trying to shoot from above with the camera set to ISO2000, f2.8 at 600th of a second, following a man in red running the ball with no monopod… if you are not a photographer let me explain it like this: Hold 2 gallons of milk directly out in front of your body for 1o seconds, squint, bend your upper body forward about 9 inches so you can see the tops of your shoes, push your trigger finger in and out, rotate your body to the right 66 degrees while still holding the 2 gallons of milk directly in front of your body with your arms still straight out in front of you! RELAX for 20 seconds-now do it again and this time get it in focus.
I snuck the monopod in just like 40 other photographers and used it religiously on every play.
The game was very exciting and I would love to shoot next year in Miami, hopefully the Dolphins would join me.
I shot over 1200 images of the game, packed 6 lenses with 2 camera bodies and drove home after the game like an over excited 10 year old boy. I love the NFL!