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Photographers, We Are Better Than That

It was a classic NCAA Championship game. Perennial powerhouse Alabama comes back to tie the game in regulation and then win it in overtime. The game-winning play was a 2nd down, 41-yard heave-ho into the end zone that broke a lot of Georgia fan’s hearts. It was a play that will be etched in their collective memories for a long time. And one image, a screen grab of that play, will also be etched in the memories of a few people… for a totally different reason.

The screen grab above has been circulating on the Internet for a while now. It shows credentialed photographers watching the play as it happened, as opposed to shooting it. Not a good thing… if you are a professional photographer. There really is no excuse for that. It meant that they were not prepared.

Any sports photographer worth their salt will have a second short-lensed, pre-focused camera around their neck JUST for occasions like this one at a sporting event. One that they can grab quickly and “press and pray” that they get something as it happens right in front of them. It’s part of the sports photographer’s playbook. Sometimes you just also have to be “lucky,” but as my good friend and consummate professional Walter Iooss Jr. used to say, “Luck favors the prepared.”

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