If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably recognize both of the guys in the photo above. If you’re kinda new here, that’s Alex Walker (left) posing with my buddy, pro sports photographer Mike Olivella (Photo by Melina Vastola).

Alex won a contest last year that we hosted here on the blog called “Shooting on the Sidelines with Scott & Mike” which was a sports photo contest only open to non-pros, and the winner would get to shoot a big time College football game from the sidelines with Mike and me. Sadly, it turned into a huge debacle (in short, a group of sports photographers got up in arms over the contest and they got Alex’s sidelines pass revoked—-you can read all the gory details here—it’s one of my most commented upon posts ever). As it turned out, although he got his College game pulled out from under him, we were able to get Alex on the sidlines of an NFL game, to make up for his missing the College game (you can read about that here).

Well, Mike being the big-hearted guy that he is, never got over what happened to Alex, and earlier this month arranged to have Alex get his rightful prize,as he got to join Mike for a sidelines shoot during the ACC Collage Championship Game, where the photo you see above was taken. Anyway, I just wanted to share a shot of two really good guys (above), and another happy ending for Alex—-a really great guy, a super dad, and a top notch photographer.

About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.

40 Comments

  1. Just wait until the crybabies over at sportsshooter (dot) com find out about this!

  2. Hey Scott!
    That so Rocks!!! I’m glad Alex finally got what he deserved. I have had the amazing pleasure of talking w/ Mike and getting some tips from him (thanks once again to Kim Doty for tthat one too….yep I’m her biggest fan!). This is a PERFECT time for me to mention this…I was going to right a suggestion email but this forum works great!

    My suggestion is…do you think it would be possible for Mike and yourself to do a Kelby Training class on SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY??? That would be AWESOME! Maybe someting like the Day w/ Jay…or Jeremy Cowert classes?? Just an idea….what do YOU think???

    Again Scott (can crew) Thanks for EVERYTHING you do for us little guys everyday! If we don’t get the chance to say it enough, we really do appreciate it.

    Blessings & Merry Christmas to you and your families!

    Bryce R. Mansfield

  3. RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!! I’m sure the sports photographers are all going on strike now. Well, good on ya Alex. I’m glad you were able to get an even better prize, albeit a little late. Maybe we can hear from you sometime on the blog here and you can post some images that you took. Cheers-

  4. Hi Scott,
    Finally, justice at all! Just do not mention on the web you are going to take an ‘amateur’ to the game and none of the profs will be complaining. And if they do now it is even more fun that you fooled them!!! :)
    So Alex, hope you had a good time at the game.

    Merry Xmas and happy holidays to all!

  5. Great finale to the Alex saga! It ended the way it should have began.

    I second the suggestion of having you and Mike do a Sports Photography class on Kelby Training. Although it might be difficult to get a video crew onto the field to film it!

    And how about having Alex as a Wednesday guest blogger???? I’m sure he would love to tell his story and share some of his pictures.

    –John

  6. Typo! Last paragraph…College is misspelled. Agree with John, anyway of getting a sports photography class going?

  7. I’m happy to hear things worked out, a nice message in time for Christmas :-)

    On my blog, I used the term ‘Amateur Photographer’ to describe myself. After reading it, one of my friends suggested that I remove the word amateur. “After all, you are a photographer, amateur has nothing to do with it”. I read and re-read the definition of ‘photographer’ and came to the conclusion he was right. We’re all photographers. Some make it their profession, some do not.

    Merry Christmas!

  8. Is the “Collage Championship Game” where people compete to create the greatest collage?

  9. Great Job Alex. I was wondering if you had a website so that I can view some of your work? Its awesome to see that your wish has finally come true. Keep up the good work.

  10. This is amazing. I’m really glad this “Finally” worked out.
    Mike

  11. I am truly the luckiest amateur photographer in the world! And the luckiest thing that happened was the chance to meet and get to know both Mike Olivella & Scott Kelby! I wish that each and every person who reads their blogs had the same chance that I did. They are both rock stars in the photography world but the most down to earth, stand up, and guys you want in a foxhole with you that you will ever meet. They are men of honor and that seems rarer and rarer every day. I have been blessed in so many ways by both of them over the last year or so , but the greatest blessing was being able to call them both friends and mentors. Thanks again guys, you have given me gifts that I will never forget and will never be able to repay!

    • The great thing about a setback is that, handled with the right attitude and a measure of determination, it can become an opportunity of a lifetime.

      I’ve really grown to admire you Alex. It’s one thing to win a contest, it’s another thing entirely to earn the right to receive the prize. Luck might have favored you in the beginning but it was your attitude, talent and gracious spirit that ultimately put you on the sideline.

      The lifetime achievement here is not that you finally got to shoot a college, or even a pro game. The true lifetime achievement, and the one your son will inherit the most from, is that you earned the respect and support of honorable men. That one was all you!

      Merry Christmas and a happy new year to a guy who has truly earned it!

  12. Alex, glad to see you are still benefiting from this. Maybe the SS did you a favor. I still blame (Scott probably won’t agree) with Florida State. If they had did a little homework and stepped up to the plate and ran their program instead of letting an outside organization run it, then you would have been at the game. (to be fair I am a Clemson Alumnus and love taking cheap shots at FSU).

    It looks like you have formed a great relationship with the awesome Mike O. You guys both have a Merry Christmas and thanks for the drama story of the year on Scotts Blog (go Tigers)
    KT

    • Ken,
      I thank those guys every day! I actually kind of understood their frustration because they do make their living shooting games. But I was never even dreaming about breaking into the business. Either way you are correct , they did me a huge favor!

  13. I loee this story, I feel that “good” triumphed over “evil” and the world as wacky as it is (and can be) is right! Merry Christmas Scott! Super enjoyed the Moab experience!

  14. I am so happy for Alex. I’ve seen some of his work and it is exceptional!! He deserves these opportunities as he puts his heart and soul in his work and it truly shows in the final product he puts out…..Yeah for Alex!!

  15. This is such an awesome thing. The beginning of all of this had sooo much anger in it. It is great to see good prevail. Congratulation again Alex and what a gift Mr. Olivella.

    Inspirational people doing inspirational things….don’t get much better than that.

  16. That’s great! Great news for Alex, and another example of what a good guy Mike is. I’ve been following Mike’s blog for a while now and he’s always sharing good tips and advice. If you’ve never read his guest blogs here, find them and read them.

  17. As Scott said, what happened to Alex never sat well with me and I also felt like I embarrassed Scott in the eyes of his Blog readers by not being able to come through from my end. As fate would have it, I was travelling to Charlotte in the Road Warriors’ RV and I was on Facebook.I learned that my assistant for the game was not going to be able to make it. Alex was on FB and I mentioned my situation and I half jokingly asked him if he’d like to fill in. Never dreaming that he would be able to drive to Charlotte on such short notice. a few FB messages later, we wre set – Alex would be my assistant for the ACC Championship game between FSU and Va Tech. What a relief to have finally been able to make things right for Alex from my end (Scott had already gone above and beyond with the Bears’ game). I guess you might say the moral of the story is when you get knocked down, dust yourself off and keep at it. Sooner or later, the good guys will win if you don’t give up. Scottie, thanks for letting your Blog readers know about this. My black eye can finally heal.

    • Mike,
      I understand the way that you felt , but as far as I am concerned you never had a black eye in anyone’s eyes that knows you. And I never felt like I was owed anything. You are truly the type of guy everyone can look up to for countless reasons. My true prize in the whole thing was getting to know you and Scott , shooting the games was just and added bonus!

    • I’ll have to agree w/ Alex here Mike….You NEVER had a black eye. Thanks to you and Scott for being someone that I can look up too…and try to pattern myself after! You both are an inspiration for us all!

  18. In the middle of a very ruff week it is so cool to see and hear how Mike has such a big heart and went above and beyond to help Alex along and help him experience something so few can actually do. Scott, Mike, my hat is in my hand and over my heart, Thank You!!!

  19. Amazing. It’s good to know that sometimes the good guys still win.

  20. Great end to the story and just think I was just one tick away from winning that . Scott you “”NEED”” to have Mike Olivella do a college game on Kellbytraining. A walk through of shooting a sports event. The whole bit of how to check in at the venue and setting up in the media room and of course some shooting tips from the sidelines.

  21. This is great news. This is an excellent posting. I have faced the “seasoned pro” whose only goal in life is to demean and destroy anyone they feel a threat (I have one spreading stories about me now that border on slander). Its a shame that people live in such small worlds, but it wonderful that good guys do finish first.

    This is a great thing to read this close to Christmas.

  22. This the story that started it all with Scott and I! Glad to see it come full circle!

  23. Justice tastes good – and the crybabies at SportsShooter need to learn a lesson from this event. I am so happy to see this outcome. Very well deserved.

    • And for anyone who doesn’t know the whole story , Mr. Bourne also sent me some very wonderful and expensive gifts during the whole debacle. He is another one of the “good guys”. I use the Nik software nearly every day! Thanks again!

    • Scott, I hope to meet you someday. You are a class act and I very much appreciate your generosity in terms of Alex when I fell flat on my face.

      • I’m working on that one Mike….if I get MY WISH of having you and Scott do a Sports Photography class on Kelby Training!!! (I saw I wasn’t the ONLY one that was interested in this either!…hint hint Scott!!!)

      • I can echo Bryce’s comment:

        Scott – you and Mike absolutely need a Sports Photography class on Kelby Training. The trick will be trying to film it during a FSU game on the sidelines….

        ~ jeff

      • Thanks Mike and Alex I hope I get to meet both of you some day. I know that Kelby thinks the world of both you guys and I am so happy it all worked out. I hope you have a happy holiday.

  24. Nice to see Alex finally get his due. Great of Mike to pull all the strings and make it happen. He could have just let the NFL game be the consolation prize, and it would have been more than enough, but he went out of his way to make things perfect. Excuse me while I wipe away tears of joy…

  25. Cool! It looks like Alex actually got much more than he would have if things had worked out as originally intended. :-)

  26. Alex what shot did you like the best from the ACC game? Enquiring minds want to know!!

  27. Man what a great end to the story. I know when I first decided I wanted to make automotive photography career there was a lot of contempt from the pros in that field for a amateur asking questions on “How to take there job”

    Now we go out of our way to help enthusiasts in our field live there dream by getting published in major automotive publications by hosting a free workshop where we provide a vehicle that has been selected for a feature by a national publication.

    We had the same issue with some local pros the first time we did this when they posted all over the local internet forums that I was stealing there images without pay (even though all the proceeds went to a magazine release party) My first instinct was to never do the event after this, but I sucked it up and did it anyway.

    Congrats Scott and his staff for having a great contest and following it through no matter what. Always remember if you teach someone to do what you do, and they do it better than you………it’s not there fault……just work harder

  28. I do remember this story and i’m happy for Alex!

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