Man, did I have an absolute blast on Tuesday! The NFL’s Chicago Bears flew me up to the Bear’s training camp (it’s held about 90-minutes outside Chicago at Bourbonnais, Illinois) to teach a private workshop called “How to Shoot Sports Like a Pro,” for a special group of some the Bears longtime supporters and longtime season-ticket holders. My buddy Dave Moser came along with me to help with the workshop, and generally keep me out of trouble.
I broke the class into three segments:
- I did the first hour in the classroom, where I did a slideshow and live camera demo talking about equipment and techniques for shooting all kinds of sports, but of course, with an emphasis on shooting Football.
- Then we went outside where I arranged to have three football players, in full Bears uniforms (pads, helmets and all), run a series of scrimmages for the class so we could practice the techniques we learned in class (the players weren’t actual Chicago Bears, but were part of the Bears organization and totally into the gig—they were great—you can see some of the shots below).
- Then after shooting outside for about 45 minutes, we headed back inside to do critiques of the shoot, so the students could see what they were doing right and what they needed to work on (I did the critiques anonymously, but when I ran across a student who had some shots that really kicked butt—then I asked them raise their hand).
(The top photo by Dave Moser. The bottom three taken during our class shoot by Mike McCaskey. His bottom photo demonstrates a segment where instead of trying to freeze the action, we tried panning and lowering our shutter speed to 1/60 of a second to blur the movement and create a sense of motion).
The reason the second and third sections of my workshop were so important, is that the Bears graciously arranged for everyone in the class to stay after and shoot the real Chicago Bears from the sidelines during a closed practice. What an incredible opportunity, and a perfect way to end the day (I was excited that the class would have a chance to take the tweaks in composition and technique they learned in the class and apply them right away to a real world shoot). Anyway, it was just a blast—I couldn’t have asked for better, more attentive, or more involved students (some of which had brought a teenage son or daughter).
(L to R above; my buddy Dave Moser, Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith, Me, and Chicago Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey).
Thanks to everyone in the Bears organization especially our host Michael McCaskey (shown above) and the Bear’s Director of Stadium Sales & Services, Adam Kellner, who were so gracious and accommodating to Dave and I during our trip. It was truly an honor to get to work with you and your first class organization. Go Bears!
One last thing in the “it’s a small world” department; Dave and I just landed at Chicago O’Hare airport, and we’re outside waiting on the rental car shuttle and I hear, “Scott? Dave?” and I look beside me and standing two feet from me is John Nack, Adobe’s Principal Product Manager for Photoshop (who was my guest blogger just a few weeks ago). He was in Chicago visiting family, and we just happened to wind up in the exact same place by chance. (Photo of John and I above by Dave Moser).