NFL Sidelines “Scott Spotting Guide” For Sunday’s NFC Championship Game

(Note the specially “pimped out” monopod for easy sidelines spotting)

OK, I am at full happy because on Sunday I’m flying up to Chicago to shoot the NFC Championship Playoff Game between the Chicago Bears (Yeah baby!) and the Green Bay Packers (Booooo) at Soldier Field.

I know a lot of you will be watching this nationally televised playoff game, and so I thought I would create this handy “Scott Spotting Guide” so you can see me freezing my butt off on the sidelines in the freezing 22°F (-5C) weather during the game.

Brad Pimped Out my Monopod
To make “Scott Spotting” easier, Brad added some red flames and bright yellow tape around the top section of my monopod and hopefully if I show up on camera, it won’t be from me diving out of the way of an incoming receiver.

(Above: Look for the black Fender logo ballcap).

Alternate cold-weather looks
Another “Scott Spotting” technique is to look for a sideline photographer wearing a black “Fender” guitar logo ball cap (as shown above in this blurry iPhone photo). I will, most likely, also be sporting a red NFL photo vest, but there is a possibility that I’ll be wearing a green vest instead, but I’ll try and let you know in advance.

(Above: If it gets really windy, I’ll go with plan B and add a full face mask).

The temperature is supposed to be approximately the same as it was for my Pittsburgh Steelers shoot a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t windy so I was fine. However, if it gets really windy, or I run out of money and need to stop by a local bank, I’ll switch to this full face mask, in which case you’ll need to rely solely on the hat and my new Oakley glasses.

I’m usually out at the center of the field right immediately after the game catching some shots of the players right after the big Chicago win, so keep an eye out for a cold-looking guy in a Fender logo ballcap.

Can’t wait to share the shots with you guys on Monday. Have a great weekend, and….GO BEARS!!!!

P.S. If the TV camera happens to aim directly at me, I’m going to hit them with some “Blue Steel.” ;-)

      1. Hey to both of you
        Ken, how do you stay up that late to be able to post first? I’m a pumpkin at 10:00 Central time.

        Scott, What the heck does CAKB mean?

      2. Mike:

        Ken and I are night owls, I guess. I sometimes make it to the top spot, but it’s tough to beat him out! Maybe if his restaurant was open later….. :D

        CAKB = Cool And Kick Butt!


    1. I dunno Amanda—when I shot the Bears/Packers game at home earlier this year on Monday Night Football, the Packers lost. I wouldn’t count those chickens if I were you. :)

      GO BEARS!


      1. I dunno Scott — when I watched the Patriots/Jets game at home earlier this year on Monday Night Football, the Jets got blown out. Don’t be dissin’ the cheeseheads.

        GO PACKERS!

      1. Um, Scott….with all due respect, despite your misguided team choice, this is from the Green Bay Packer’s website (

        “Rodgers also ranks No. 1 in NFL history (min. 1,500 attempts) in career interception percentage at 2.0, ahead of Neil O’Donnell (2.1) and Brady (2.2).”

        Perhaps you should plan on a Cutler pick instead. Better opportunity there. ;)

        Go Packers!

  1. GO BEARS. I don’t know why, but I don’t like the Packers…

    I’ll try really hard on my Scott-Spotting (see what I did here?)

    Thank you very much for actually posting the ºC temperatures, or I’d have no idea… And I took a while to understand the bank joke (But I laughed really hard once I got it), let’s blame my english for that! hahahaha

    Now seriously, good luck on the game, and come back with kick butt shots (and terrible ones to, do not delete them on camera, that would be finny!).

  2. Packers are going DOWN!!!! I will be in Chicago on Saturday Night shooting some of the wild happenings for the local paper. Were hoping they do with the buildings some of the things they did during the last superbowl ie. lighting them up inside with bear faces and “Go Bears” and such.

    Packers…..Smell that? Thats burnt Cheese because Forte just ran passed you!


  3. Who’s going to the Superbowl…..Da Bears! Good luck out there Scott, I can’t wait to see the pics on Monday. Are you going to shoot at the Superbowl if, excuse me, when the Bears play?

  4. Being in the UK I’ll not have access to watch the game but I’m sure I’ll see the coverage of you wearing the face mask and being frog marched out of the stadium on Sky News :)

    Have a great time; but then by the sounds of it that’s a ‘guaranteed!’

    Cheers, Glyn

  5. Scott,

    Don’t forget the fingerless gloves! I’ve always wondered when it comes to games of this importance how difficult it is to find space on the sidelines to shoot. Always seems vwery crowded.
    Good luck and have fun!

    1. Grap you a pair of the bow hunters gloves it has the fingers cut off but a mitten type end you can flip back over the finger tips if you have a break in the action. Can find anywhere like Gander Mtn or Bass Pro shop ( maybe hard to find down in Fla )

  6. This Bear fan thing could push me back to CNX :(

    I asked my wife if she wanted me to get tickets for the game–she asked who I was going to take because it was going to be way too cold. Take the terrorist outfit.

    Have fun and don’t get run over.

  7. Thanks for this post. I’ll keep an eye out for you while I watch the game. I was wondering whatever happened to the playoff game that you mentioned you’d be shooting a few weeks ago. Since back then there was no guarantee of what teams would make it to this round, yet knew you would be shooting a playoff game, then I’m guessing that you aren’t shooting as a guest of the Bears but rather for South Creek or some other non-team-specific organization.

    1. Hi Trask:
      I had a pass to shoot the playoff game last weekend, but it was my son’s birthday and I wanted to be here for it, but I passed on the shoot. Luckily, the Bears rolled and I got a second chance, and as it turned out, it’s a historic matchup! :)


      1. That’s the best scenario all around – you made it to your son’s birthday, and you still get to shoot one of your favorite teams in an even bigger game then what you would have been shooting last week. Have fun (despite the cold). I look forward to seeing the shots.

  8. The Pats did a service to all remaining teams by losing to the Jets. Everyone here in Boston was already booking hotel rooms in Dallas. Ya never know what can happen in a one-and-done playoff game.

    Have fun SK and stay warm. I am sure everyone will be keeping an eye out for the pimped monopod.

  9. I love the playoffs! But now I find I’m watching the photographers as much as the players – and I’m always watching for you Scott ;) Thanks for the pimp job Brad, should make the “Scott spotting” much easier! ….this is almost like a “where’s Waldo” game, but your hat is MUCH cooler. Yeah, baby!

  10. Scott:

    I thought I was the only one interested in “Scott-spotting” during football games. I’ve caught you on ESPN SportsCenter a few times AFTER you told us you were at a particular game (and posted about it!)! Now I see that it’s become a game for all of us. I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for the CAKB monopod and those bitchin’ new Oakleys! Thanks for the heads-up on your attire, but……

    One suggestion from a New England boy…dress warmer than you think you need to be (think layers). You can always take layers off if you get too hot! And ditch the leather jacket…get a real winter jacket if you can! Wind chill will NOT be your friend on Sunday…it may read 22 degrees on the gauge, but the wind makes it feel much colder (the reverse of those humid days in Florida!)! Get some thin gloves, too. I only tell you this because this is the year of love….. :D

    Have a great time in Chicago! Wish my Pats had a chance to meet the Bears again in the Super Bowl and get some retribution for 1986, but it wasn’t meant to be this year. Maybe the Bears will meet the Jets and win…it will make me feel better about the Pats’ loss.

    Go Bears!


    1. Hi John:
      Rest assured—I’ll be dressed in layers big time! (Florida boys get cold easy). I’ve got the Under Armour Cold Gear compression baselayer pants and shirt, then on top of that a long sleeve t-shirt, then a sweatshirt, then a thick winter jacket (not the leather jacket I was wearing in the photo—that’s just what I had on when the photo was taken), and an awesome pair of really warm winter gloves. Same stuff I wore for the Redskins and Steelers and I was warm and toasty as could be. The only part that was a little cold was my face, which is why I’m bringing the Facemask, but I’m not sure if I’ll even wear it, unless it gets really windy.


      1. Bob:

        I used to be a loyal listener of the “Big Show” with Glen Ordway, but circumstances prevent me from listening to it much anymore. I’m sure that they have had a lot of choice words about the last game.


  11. Prediction: Bears 2, Packers 0, in triple OT.

    Enjoy the game!

    Another tip if it hasn’t been mentioned. Get some batting gloves from a sporting goods store. They’re thin enough that it will feel just like your fingers on your controls and will provide at least “some” resistance to the cold. Maybe Brad can even put some cool flames on them too. :)

  12. You need to have a discussion with your photographer about framing. You’re obscuring the view of the male model in every photograph.


    Oh, and GO VIKINGS! (Hey, it’s not too early to start rooting for next year…unfortunately.)

  13. Hi Scott,

    First off, make sure you dress in layers. I live in Chi-town and this morning I walked to work at 1 degree weather. If you factor in wind chill it was at -20. Pick up a pack of long thermal underwear. I know those are foreign to FLoridians, yet you can pick them up at any Chicagoland Walmart.
    P.S.- Ill look for you on TV.

    Glenn N

  14. If the Packers are dumb enough to punt it to Devin Hester, be ready Scott. You’ll probably want to take up an endzone position. And I’ve been wanting to see the new overtime rules come into play so maybe you could come up with something like you see in those Buffalo Wild Wings commercials. If the Packers are about to go in for the game winning score maybe you could:

    a) Create a distraction by attempting to take out a tripod so you get tackled by game security.

    b) Shout out, “Hey Rodgers, I’m going to shoot you in HDR!”

    c) Distract the necessary players or officials by telling them their frequent flyer miles have expired.

    Just a few ideas, I’m sure others will volunteer more. Enjoy the game!


  15. If push comes to shove, do what I do.

    At the end of the game walk behind them interviewing the winners main player and pretend like you dont know they are there. Just dont make eye contact with the camera ;)

    Good luck ill look for you!

  16. Looking forward to seeing you at the game. Try to avoid the flattened photographer shot. It hurts to watch photogs getting tackled on the sidelines.

    Also, please post some more outtakes. It gives me great pleasure to be able to say I shoot as well as Scott Kelby. :-)

    And, yeah, Bears are going down.


    1. Hi Frank:
      It’s a 2:00 pm game, and it looks to be somewhat sunny, so I’ll be at 200 ISO, but otherwise if it were a night game, I’d start between 1200 and 1600 ISO (but I don’t use Auto ISO generally).


      1. On Dtown TV and your digital photo book you
        set the iso to adust in order to maintain your min
        1ooo shutter speed so know I’m confusted on your exact technique. I sometimes get to go on the field
        with the Jets. Using a d300.
        What Do you set the white balance on for that type of lighting?

      2. Scott,

        I know you have shot there, but here around Chi-town it gets dark around 4-5PM. You will probably have to be at 400 to start out with but I know you’ll check it.
        Tom Q

        PS. Scott I have a shooting questions totally un-related to this post (Sorta) and not photoshop as well. Where would be a good place to contact you at?

  17. Scott, you are off the richter scale, I will be looking out for you, and way to go on passing to be at your son’s birthday, and look you got blessed for it! : )

  18. Scott,

    You are incredibly lucky to be shooting the “Epicenter of Humanity”. I’m cheering for the Pack, but to each his own. I don’t know about you, but this week seems like it is going by so slowly due to the anticipation.

    Have fun, I’ll be looking for you!

  19. Well I’m not a sports fan so I doubt I will catch the game, but I will keep my ears open for a news report of a photographer mistaken for terrorist should you get confused and accidentally wear the face mask to the air port instead of the game. :)

  20. Scott, you might be the smartest guy in the digital imaging world, but even you wont be able to Photoshop the scoreboard to give the Bears a win over the Packers (it’s impossible!). If you use the “content aware” tool on Packers players it will put super bowl rings on all their fingers because Photoshop has an algorithm that recognizes champs. Go Packers!!

  21. At the risk of getting kicked off because I’m not a sports fan, I’ll just say that I think you should consider wearing a cape. Very noticeable and I’m sure you’d be the only photographer out there with one. You may even get some attention from the TV cameras if you let Brad design a colorful one.

  22. Scott, I think you need to wear that green vest. If you do also consider wearing a gold hat. Those are really good colors.

    A Packer fan, a Viking fan and a Bear fan are climbing a mountain and arguing about who loves his team more. The Viking fan insists he is the most loyal. “This is for the Vikings” he yells, and jumps off the side of the mountain. Not to be outdone, the Packer fan is next to profess his love for his team. He yells “This is for the Packers!” and pushes the Bear fan off the mountain!!!!

    GO PACK GO!!!

    1. Steve: I heard the same joke yesterday, and I’m not making this up: it had the Bear fan pushing the Packers fan off the mounting. :)

      Not a Packer’s hater, unless they’re playing the Bears!

  23. Scott,
    Hi I am going through your LIght room 3 book and for some reason the watermark on export is not working. It is not applying the watermarks that I have created. Do you have any ideas??

  24. Scott, that’s great news! You will be there taking shots at the battle of the Mid-way Monsters!!! Very Nice. I will be watching and looking for you too. I’m now obsessed with looking for you at games on the side lines. LOL

    Are you sure you want to hit the “Blue Steel” look….you might only get one chance for a direct camera shot….have you been practicing ??? LOL too funny!

  25. Love reading about and listening to your blogs, D-Town etc. re. shooting sports from the sidelines. Would love to have you publish your shooting and custom settings for your jpeg shoots. Thanks

  26. What a great blog! You have such a wonderful sense of humor about yourself and the upcoming weather possibilities. Well, I hope all goes well for you and that someone has a steaming cup of hot chocolate waiting for you when you’re done. Good luck!

  27. WOW! I HATE COLD!!!! But a chance to be a at that game and getting to shoot it, I would figure out a way to stay warm. I was at the Colts game you shot. I took pictures of the pros down on the field shooting the game. (Coveting their equipment and hoping one day to shoot from down there!) I have tried to go through my images but have not found you. I was in the “Indianapolis” end zone.

    Have a great time!!!!!

  28. Scott: Very excited for ya! I’ll be cozy and warm at home watching the game. Good luck, have a great time and..

    GO PACK!!!

    I cannot wait to see your shots!!!

  29. I commented this morning, but it didn’t show up so… I think Solider Field is spelled Soldier Field. Scott, the first thing that popped into my mind seeing you in a facemask was Black Ops. ;) Can’t wait to see your shots.

      1. Moose had me take my waterproofing off one rainy day at a DLWS workshop… he said the cover is better at holding moisture in than it is at keeping it out. I now shoot my D3 + 70-200 (or more likely 200-400) on the sidelines with no raingear in solid drizzle (not heavy rain), and it has not been a problem. I don’t change lenses in the rain, but otherwise, I’m very confident that a little wet isn’t going to hurt my gear. Pat it down with a dry town when you get back to the car.

  30. You should pimp your lenshood on that 400 with something colorful as well, then it should be even easier to spot You!
    Here’s a thought, why is it that so many sports and other photographers are wearing, if not all, but a lot of black?
    Can’t you ask some of your friends/colleagues in the field if they have some input on this.
    Would be interesting to hear, especially from those that do wear all black.

    I myself have met a few of those, and they haven’t got a good answer to this. Most of these Men in black do tend to belong to the older guard of photographers. :)

  31. Hi Scott, be sure to catch Aaron celebrating his 4th+ TD pass and Clay Matthew’s now famous ‘sack dance’. I live 30 miles south of GB (where it’s 5 degrees out now) and really look forward to your shots on Monday. Stay warm and Go Pack!

  32. Where’s the NAPP Logo???? Since you’ll be wearing those official vests you need to have the NAPP logo on you cap! Ya gotta market yourself if you expect to be successful. ;-0

  33. I’ve been a Packer fan all of my 50+ years. My grandfather actually played against the Packers back in 1919 and 1920 with the early city teams (I have a great old picture of his team that I’ll post sometime). These two great franchises fighting it out to go to the Super Bowl. Scott – this is something to savor – someday you can tell your grandkids that you saw the NFC championship game between the Packers and Bears. This may never happen again. While we disagree on who we think will win, I’m sure we can agree on how proud we are as Packer/Bear fans to be part of one of the great rivalries in sports. Good luck to both teams and have a great day shooting.

    1. Brian—that was so well said. This is football history and just as excited and honored to even be there, much less to get to shoot it. If you see a shot of the Packers you’d like from my Monday post, I’d be happy to make you a print (even though you’re a Packers fan).


      1. Scott – thank you so much for such a generous offer. I hope that at some point today you have the opportunity to put your camera down and soak it all in – the sights, sounds, and smells of the game. My grandfather told me stories of their early games and how they would literally “pass the hat” amongst the fans asking for donations so the players could earn a little money. The game has certainly come a long way! No matter who wins, this is going to be a great day. Stay warm and have fun.

  34. I just saw (on TV) a reporter doing a live report from Soldier Field. Me thinks Mr. Kelby will be wearing that full face mask today. Brrrrrrr, it looks cold up there!

  35. I spotted Scott @ 3:40 PM or so…He’s on the Bear’s 10 yard line marker! Just saw him in the background after the Packers downed their punt in Bears territory at the end of the first quarter! It was on the replay when the network showed the punt recovery from theopposite sideline. What do I win?? :D

    Brad, I only spotted Scott because I spotted the monopod…very pimpy!


  36. I’m pretty sure when Aaron Rodgers scored on the first drive he was knocked out of bounds right at Scott’s feet! I am almost positive i saw the Fender hat!

  37. Not sure but I think I spotted Scott after the first commercial break from halftime. Down on one knee with his second camera, no tripod. Just the Fender hat and black leather jacket. A very quick shot.

  38. !!!! I JUST SAW YOU !!!!, a while ago. It must be you. Just after the second Chicago’s touchdown. It was at a blink of an eye. In one of the TV takes of the touchdown I saw your
    monopod with the yellow pimped stripe. You had one knee down. ¿where there any other photographer with a pimped monopod? If not, definitely it was you the one I saw.
    I would like to see the picture of Bennett crossing the TD line. Congrats
    Fernando Franco

  39. I watch for you the whole game Scott… But we could not find you… We thought for sure we would be able to find you with your colorful smile and mono-pod.. Hope you had fun and got some great shots.. Can’t wait to see them..

    Are you going to The big game too??

  40. I watched most of the game! But sadly I didn’t check the blog before hand, wish I had, would have loved to try and find Scott on the sidelines!! Hope it all went well!

  41. Scott was taken out by Rodgers on the first touchdown. The network had a great reply angle after the first half was over, just after the first commercial break. Rodgers tumbling, hitting the pimpy monopod, snapping the base off, and the 400 lens/D3 taking a dive. But the most amazing thing was seeing Scott quickly get up, switch to his other camera with the 70-200 on it, and keep clicking away, with the biggest grin ever on his face! Now that is a professional photographer!

    Hope the lens and camera are OK, Scott (I’m sure they are insured). You have to show us the pictures of that play, no matter what they looked like! Who would have guessed on Friday that you would have been involved in a play (I think someone called that in an earlier post)??!!

    Can you fix the monopod with gaffers tape? We need to see pictures of the damage!


  42. It’s funny that your now busted pimpy monopod got closer to tackling Rodgers than any of the 11 Bears who were dazzled by BJ Raji doing his best Fridge impression. That said, it’s cool that my favorite photoblog features photos of my favorite team — plus the story of how you got them is pretty much epic!

    Great work!

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