photo equipment on green grass

I guess it depends on how you look at it.

(NOTE: before you post a comment; please read Mike’s comments in the next post below, which explains what happened, and why FSU is absolutely not to blame).

You all know that on Monday we announced the winner for our “Shoot on The Sidelines with Scott & Mike,” contest, and Alex Walker, a really talented amateur sports photographer from Virginia won with an incredible shot of his son taken during a soccer (football) match.

You probably also know that a very vocal group of sports photographers were outraged at the fact that we did this contest in the first place. They didn’t feel an amateur, no matter how talented, had any place in “their world.” They were very bitter, angry, and made it very clear in online forums that having the winner on the sidelines was absolutely unacceptable.

But they didn’t stop there.

We just got word that these photographers were so upset that some of them contacted Florida State University directly, and told them they were making a mistake by letting an amateur “run amok” on the sidelines. This was dangerous. It’s not a good decision. This “amateur” has no business on the sidelines, and they should pull his sidelines pass!

Apparently, these angry sports photographers were very convincing. Florida State felt they had no choice but to rescind his pass Now, Alex will not get to shoot on the sidelines at the Florida State game.

Congratulations. You were able to steal Alex’s dream of shooting a big time game from the sidelines.

Yesterday I called Alex and told him the news. As you might imagine, he was very disappointed, but as good a photographer as Alex is, he’s even more of a gentleman and took the news like a pro.

He was already aware of the angry, hateful comments posted by some of these photographers, but I don’t think he ever thought it would come to this. Nevertheless, he was still grateful to have his photo chosen, and I’m sending him a bunch of cool goodies to, in some small way, take the sting out of losing out on such a wonderful opportunity, but obviously it won’t replace what was taken from him.

So, I guess these sports photographers felt it was really important for them to keep Alex off the sidelines, even though doing so:

  1. Wouldn’t put a dime in their pockets
  2. Wouldn’t in any way help their careers
  3. And wouldn’t impact their livelihood in any way

But they did manage to take a lifelong dream away from a very kind, talented dad, who just loves taking shots of his son.

My congratulations to this group of sports shooters on being able to convince Florida State University to change their mind. You should be very proud, and celebrate this great day for sports photography.

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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, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.