Last week I was sent out to photograph the new football stadium for Angelo State University. Within 10 minutes my editor called asking me if I had enough because there was a reported officer involved shooting nearby. I definitely planned on staying for longer but didn’t want to hesitate and risk missing anything important at the scene so I took off running towards my car.
As soon as I arrived at the scene I could see the medics moving a body from a red truck onto a stretcher. I moved as quickly as possible to the closest spot I could and luckily was able to capture a few frames of the suspect being moved into the back of an ambulance before being rushed to the hospital. The suspect reportedly fired at an officer’s vehicle before being taken down by police force. No officers were injured and the suspect remains in critical condition.
Showing up early to my original assignment allowed me to produce enough images in time to allow me to cover the unforeseen breaking news that occurred shortly after arriving at the field. Arriving early and staying late is a rule I always try to practice. Usually this rule allows me to tell a more comprehensive visual story - from beginning to end - but this time allowed me to cover my assignment and still reach breaking news and capture the important moments.
My first year shooting the All West Texas Football Preseason Preview. Here are a handful of my favorite from my weight room themed images. Printing constraints forced me to shoot close and above the waist which nixed by original hope to shoot outside highlighting some of the west Texas landscape. But since any player will tell you he spent his off season in the weight room and not off in the cotton fields or riding horses I was inspired to shoot them in their own schools club houses. Shooting 26 sportraits that didn’t repeat proved to be a bit difficult because even if a 6A school’s gym is bigger than a 1A’s, they are both filled with all the same equipment. One just just more of it.
I don’t have any regrets though, it was fun trying to create a new pose with the athletes either before arriving or there on the spot. I would always ask the players at the end if there were any shots that they wanted to try, or anything that they wanted to incorporate, which led to the 5th photo below having the metal chain involved. It was something that wasn’t around until I let him be involved.
Spending two weeks on the road driving from town to town definitely gave me some time to start thinking about next years set of sportraits, and I have a few ideas I’m already excited about.
Our University in town has been training and preparing for their upcoming season all summer long, but not until recently did they all practice as a team. Here are just a few from my take, more can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1rBWYhc
Last year I arrived in Texas during the second week of the season, so I missed all of the two-a-days everyone talks about in regards to high school football in Texas. The other day I finally had the opportunity to get out there when the sun was rising and the boys were hard at work. Most of my focus was on the teams new dual-running back scheme and their head coach.
I had plenty of friends when I was growing up who practiced there Stone Cold Steve Austin imitations and would always ask each other if they could smell what the rock was cooking. I never really was all too interested in the bodyslams and closelines that aired on pay-per-view every few months, it just all seemed a bit too silly to me. But when my editor texted me if I was interested in working my Sunday evening off to cover the WWE SummerSlam Heatwave I admit that I got pretty excited at the opportunity.
Afterwards I definitely don’t regret not investing parts of my youth into wrestling entertainment, but I definitely don’t regret spending my night off covering the event either.
I was pretty excited about this assignment from the get go. For me, it was an opportunity to experience something I never had before, and something I associated with West Texas. Pierce Miller is a local businessman who owns land and livestock in Ozona. He grew up on his Father’s ranch but left for college, started his family and successful business and didn’t get back into ranching until later in life.
I had the opportunity to spend some time at a manufacturer plant where they created and welded together the tremendously large tanks that would be buried deep (we’re talking miles deep) into the ground at fracking sites around West Texas. Fracking uses high-pressure water to reach oil reserves that aren’t reachable through traditional drilling. The surge in fracking use has helped surge America as the top oil producer in the world. Anyhow, the water that is used to reach these oil reserves can’t be recycled or used again because it becomes so polluted during the fracking process. After the waters purpose has been served, it rests in these tanks until it reach capacity and is removed.
The local Nutcracker Performance.
San Angelo is a military town. Many residents are current, reserve or retired. It is also the home to the Goodfellow Air force Base. To say the least I was definitely excited to see how SA would commemorate the holiday.