Last night was a pretty interesting evening for me. I found myself back at Stockholm Stadion for Djurgården’s final home match of the season. The last match in football Allsvenskan that I will be covering this season, also the last fall evening I will have to spend in a chilly Stockholm Stadion. Next summer Djurgården (and Hammarby IF) will move to the newly constructed Tele2 area.
I had an intern with me, Therese, who is studying photography in high school and is an aspiring sports photographer. I also had received a phone call from a journalist at one of Sweden’s major newspapers asking me to try and find soon to be ex-Djurgården player Kennedy Igboananike in the crowd and get some photographs of him.
So it goes without saying that it was a busy night with a lot to think about.
I’ve never had an intern tag along with me before and it was a lot of fun. As a photographer you are always looking to improve and grow. It’s hard for me to think of myself as an expert of a pro, there is much I still want to achieve and so much more for me to learn. Yet there I found myself with Therese, who was rather quiet and shy, doing a lot of talking and hoping that I wasn’t boring her to death. I walked her through my entire work process. Pre, during, and post match. Tried my best to explain some of my thinking during the game in terms of what I look for and what I try to avoid.
You can see Therese in one of the pictures bellow. Late in the first half I encouraged her to fell free to move around the pitch. She was shooting with a Canon 7D with 70-200 lens on it, while I was on my Canon 1D X with my 400mm lens. My line of thought was that she didn’t need to just sit by my side and moving about would suit her camera and lens best. So Therese went off while I held my position, short side to the right of goal. At the end of the half she found herself on the other end of the short side and in the perfect position for the 1-0 goal. She had the Syrianska players right in front of her camera celebrating.
As for my assignment of tracking down Kennedy Igboananike, it unfortunately was unsuccessful. Before the game I called Djurgården’s press chief who told me Kennedy was at the stadium that evening. I asked him if he could let me know where he was sitting and he told me he would try to find out and call me back. As the first half was being played I struggled to focus on the actual game as I kept panning the crowd with my 400mm hoping to find Kennedy. I had my headphones on so I could receive phones calls from the journalist who was also in the crowd and looking for him.
When I didn’t find him by halftime I decided to not think about it until the match was over. My new plan of attack was that maybe we could find him post match and I could bring him out onto the pitch and take a nice shot with an empty stadium behind him. As soon as the game was over I found Djurgården’s press chief but he had not seen Kennedy since before the game. He told me I was free to go looking for him, but at that point I decided to give up on it. Figuring that the story could run with an old archive picture (it did) and that it was more worthwhile for me to get my pictures from 1-1 equalizing goal (in extra time) uploaded to Pic Agency’s picture bank.
So all in all it was quite an eventful night. One of my images was featured in Aftonbladet today, I was hoping for one of my celebratory images to be used as I was the only agency photographer on that side, but the story called for something else.
As always these images and more are available exclusively via Pic Agency.