My last shoot of 2011 was up in Vegas where I shot UFC 141 at the MGM Grand. The main fight of the evening was a heavyweight matchup between Alistair Overeem and Brock Lesnar but it would be upstaged by the prior fight between Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz.
A few months ago my editor from ESPN.com called to see if I would be available to go to Vegas to shoot a UFC fight. A quick glance of my calendar showed the weekend was already booked for an NHRA shoot…. that just happened to be in Vegas! The wheels in my head quickly turned and I figured out that I would be able to do both the shoots. It would make for quite the tiring (and stressful) weekend.
December is typically a pretty slow month for me so I decided I would do the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, NM. With it being a day game the light would be amazing and make for some fun photos.
Living in Arizona is a great place for sports photography because there is a lot of sports to shoot. The bad thing is due to the heat, games are either played in domes or at night. Both of which rob photographers of getting to shoot games with cool sunlight and light pockets. Every once in awhile though we get rewarded with some day games.
I have had a very busy summer filled with baseball and lots of various auto racing. It has all begun to get very redundant so I was super excited when I was hired by ESPN.com to cover UFC 117 in Oakland. The last time I shot UFC in Las Vegas it was super fun and I got lots of great photos so I was highly motivated to replicate my previous performance. Fight, fight, fight!!!
My schedule this year had prevented me from covering Arizona State football games all season, thankfully I had a free day which enabled by to cover their last game of the season against home state rival University of Arizona. It is always their biggest game of the year so that plus the fact the stadium is only 10 minutes from my house had me pretty excited for the shoot.
With Super Bowl weekend off I was desperate to find a shoot. My wishes were answered when one of my editors from ESPN.com called and asked if I wanted to travel to Las Vegas to shoot UFC 94. I knew nothing about the sport, haven’t even watched it before but of course I acted like I knew about it and gladly accepted the gig. From there it was time to start asking friends with experience how to shoot it.
In my ten years covering professional sports in the Phoenix area I had never shot NHL hockey before and was finally ready to give it a shot. As with everyone who has ever watched hockey on TV I went to the game in hopes of seeing big hits and some fights. Continue reading to see if I got what I wanted.
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