Fall of 2015 started out like every other year, I was beginning my junior year at CBU and working for athletics taking photos at most of the sporting events. I had no idea what was coming at the end of October. I had started the process of looking for something else I could do to start working in the sports photography industry. I was having trouble finding opportunities but I kept looking. Eventually, I came across a job listing for a game day photo intern for the LA Clippers. At first, I didn't think I was ready for the job nor did I really want to apply. After a few days and a lot of thinking, I decided to go for it and I applied. I never expected to hear back, but a couple of days later I got a call requesting an interview. The next week I went out to LA to interview and later that night I received another call saying I got the job! I couldn't believe it, I was an intern and was tasked to take photos for an NBA team. The day after I got the call, the Clippers had their last preseason game. During this game, I went to the arena and received training for what I would be doing for the season. It still didn't feel real, my first time in Staples Center and I was taking photos for the Clippers. A few days later was the home opener against the Dallas Mavericks. It was an incredible experience and I will never forget what it felt like. The next few weeks were pretty crazy, trying to figure out how to balance School, CBU Athletics, and the Clippers. Adjusting to driving out to LA every couple of days took getting used to as well. After a few games, I figured everything out and felt comfortable being on the court with these NBA players.
I grew up watching NBA games all the time, I knew all the players and watched every game I could. It was one thing to watch them on TV all those years. But this job and this season being up close and experiencing all those NBA players in person has been amazing. Being on the court and hearing all the talk between teams is really unique and something few people get to hear. One of the best parts of game day, is getting to watch the players warm up hours before the game. Sitting in front row gives me a clear view of the practice and effort the players put into the game. I always try to get a few unique pictures of players warming up, but it is challenging to try and take different photos every game. Another favorite part of game day, is the starting lineups. If I can, I make an effort to be on the court and try new angles or shoot from a new spot every introduction. It has taken a lot of trial and error, but I have a few photos I really like. Going to every home game has been sort of challenging. I find myself taking the same pictures over and over again. It is really hard to come away with a couple great images a game. I do my best to mix things up and try different techniques to come back with at least one image I am proud for each game.
This weekend is NBA All Star weekend in Toronto. I thought it would be a good time to just look back on the last few months and share my favorite images from the first half of the season with you. A few games that have really stuck out to me were the home opener against the Mavericks and the first time they played the Sacramento Kings. I have been a lifelong Kings fan and went to a bunch of Kings game growing up. It was really cool to be on the court with the Kings, my favorite team. The Warriors-Clippers game on TNT was also awesome, seeing the Warriors and especially Steph Curry play up close was incredible. One last memorable game was the game against the Thunder. The game went down to the wire and watching Durant hit the game winner was something else.
This last few months have been quite the experience and it has been a dream photographing the Clippers this season. I can't wait for the rest of the season. I'm hoping it ends with a long playoff run. Below are my 50 favorite images from the first half of the Clippers season...