category: Photojournalism




Charlotte Sports Photography: Carolina Panthers vs. the New Orleans Saints

Some of my current clients might be a bit surprised to know that much of my time in the past was spent covering major sporting events.

Before transitioning to weddings and corporate and marketing events, I was a staff photographer for The Charlotte Observer.

In my 14 years at the newspaper, I had the good fortune of covering the Carolina Panthers at home and away games. I was there for their first-ever game at the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, their first-ever game in Bank of America Stadium all the way to playoff games and ultimately the Super Bowl in Houston.

I left most of that behind when I left the Observer in 2007, but I remain a huge fan of the team and I was itching for a chance to photograph quarterback Cam Newton. I got the opportunity Sunday as Carolina hosted the New Orleans Saints in the home opener.

I had a wonderful time catching up with many old friends and a big Panther victory made the day even sweeter.

DeAngelo Williams was pumped up for the home opener

DeAngelo Williams was pumped up for the home opener

Cam Newton makes a grand entrance

Cam Newton makes a grand entrance

Cam Newton fires a pass

Cam Newton fires a pass

Charles Godfrey, left, and John Beason celebrate Godfrey's interception for a touchdown

Charles Godfrey, left, and Jon Beason celebrate Godfrey's interception for a touchdown

Cam Newton on the move

Cam Newton on the move

Panther Frank Alexander (90) knocks down a Drew Brees pass

Panther Frank Alexander (90) knocks down a Drew Brees pass

Saint Jimmy Graham hauls in a pass with Jon Beason in pursuit

Saint Jimmy Graham hauls in a pass with Jon Beason in pursuit

Panther Antwan Applewhite (93) lets out a roar after sacking Drew Brees

Panther Antwan Applewhite (93) lets out a roar after sacking Drew Brees

Cam Newton fires a pass

Cam Newton fires a pass

Panther receiver Brandon LaFell (11), who had a big game, picks up yardage after a catch

Panther receiver Brandon LaFell (11), who had a big game, picks up yardage

Panther cornerback Josh Norman puts a hit on a Saint receiver

Panther cornerback Josh Norman puts a hit on a Saint receiver

Panther receiver Steve Smith (89) celebrates after a long reception

Panther receiver Steve Smith (89) celebrates after a long reception

DeAngelo Williams breaks free for a touchdown

DeAngelo Williams breaks free for a touchdown

Quarterback Cam Newton celebrates a Carolina touchdown

Quarterback Cam Newton celebrates a Carolina touchdown

DeAngelo Williams (can you guess his number?)

DeAngelo Williams (can you guess his number?)

Cat Man was enjoying the show

Cat Man was enjoying the show

Carolina's Charles Godfrey puts a big hit on Saint receiver Jimmy Graham

Carolina's Charles Godfrey puts a big hit on Saint receiver Jimmy Graham

"Superman" emerges as Cam Newton scores a late touchdown

"Superman" emerges as Cam Newton scores a late touchdown

Cam Newton celebrates with the fans

Cam Newton celebrates with the fans

The win had Ron Rivera's team pointing in a good direction

The win had Ron Rivera's team pointing in a good direction





New York Trip: Saratoga and New York City Photography

Although we've lived in North Carolina for 20 years, we have many roots in the northeast and I always enjoy getting up there - especially at this time of year.

With our son Sean getting ready to head off to college, I figured this would be a good time for us to take a trip together. Sean loves New York City, so I dropped him off with his sister Alison for a few days as I headed further north to Saratoga Springs.

It was great to see Alison and her boyfriend Mike, and I got the extra bonus of seeing my brother and sister and their families.

I first photographed the racing in Saratoga in the mid-90s and I've wanted to go back for some time. Thanks to my brother Ben for helping me get credentials and then getting up at 5 a.m. to go to the track with me. (We got to play a little golf too).

It was so nice seeing everyone but I wish Betsy could have made the trip.

We also wanted to congratulate Alison on her new job in New York - we are very proud and happy for you!

Sunrise on opening day at the Saratoga Race Course

Sunrise on opening day at the Saratoga Race Course

An amazing sky greets riders breezing the race horses

A brilliant sky greets riders breezing the thoroughbreds

Fantastic light made an early wake-up call worthwhile

Fantastic light made an early wake-up call worthwhile

Getting ready

Getting ready

Amazing animals

Amazing animals

Working out

Working out

Saratoga bugler Sam Grossman prepares for opening day

Saratoga bugler Sam Grossman prepares for opening day

Quality Road, arguably the best horse in the country, gets some morning air

Quality Road, arguably the best horse in the country, gets some morning air

A little TLC at the end of workout

A little TLC at the end of workout

Back in New York City, we ventured down to the Brooklyn Bridge

Back in New York City, we ventured down to the Brooklyn Bridge in the early evening

A magnificent night in New York

A magnificent night in New York

Detail of the Brooklyn Bridge

Detail of the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge frames Manhattan at twilight

The Brooklyn Bridge frames Manhattan at twilight

The Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge

A pretty ride up the East River

A pretty ride up the East River

Early morning in Brooklyn

Early morning in Brooklyn

Another view of the sunrise

Another view of the sunrise





South Carolina News Photographers: Judging Day

I had a great time Sunday helping judge the South Carolina News Photographers Association Pictures of the Year (SCNPA) contest at The State newspaper in Columbia, SC.

Fellow judges Stacy Pearsall, Michael Holahan and I reviewed some fantastic photojournalism. Congratulations to Photographer of the Year Gerry Melendez of The State and to all of the winners.

Having entered hundreds of photography contests over the years, I knew how important they can be to the photographers and we worked hard to come to a consensus on what we thought was the most outstanding work. The single category competition is open judging so photographers and students can listen to the critiques and use them to improve their work.

It was great catching up with some old friends and meeting some new ones.

Stacy and her husband, Andy Dunaway, have done some amazing work as military photographers. Stacy, who is one of only two women to win the National Press Photographer Association's Military Photographer of the Year competition, is now the owner/director of the Charleston Center for Photography. The center is a great resource for professionals and photo hobbyists and is offering some terrific workshops.

Michael is a talented photographer working on the staff of The Augusta Chronicle. His resume includes many awards including an honorable mention as photographer of the year in smaller markets in the NPPA's Best of Photojournalism contest.

Congratulations also to my friend Travis Bell for winning first place in the Sports Action category. Like me, Travis started in newspapers before leaving to do wedding photojournalism. He still does a great deal of sports photography for the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. Myrtle Beach photographer Randall Hill, who did an amazing job helping me at a wedding on the Grand Strand, took home numerous awards for his fine work.

Thanks to the folks from SCNPA for inviting me. Look here to see all the winners.

Some of the winners in the SCNPA contest

Some of the winners in the SCNPA contest

I look over some of the entries with fellow judge Michal Holahan. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I look over some of the entries with fellow judge Michael Holahan. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

SCNPA vice president Rich Glickstein, left, looks on as judges Stacy Pearsall, Michael Holahan and me select the Best of Show. Photo by Andy Dunaway.

SCNPA vice president Rich Glickstein, left, looks on as judges Stacy Pearsall, Michael Holahan and me select the Best of Show. Photo by Andy Dunaway.