I have a folder on my computer called “Beyond the Game” where I keep pictures from sporting events. These tell stories beyond game action—images from the sidelines, and in locker rooms, of fans in the seats, and of players, ushers and groundskeepers before and after competitions.
Often, the best storytelling moments happen before or after game action.
I find this to be true with performances of any nature.
Many years ago, I had the pleasure of spending a few innings in the Dodger booth with the legendary baseball broadcasting icon Vin Scully.
Since his death on August 2, I have been on the lookout for images that celebrated his life and marked his passing.
I found such a moment August 11 before Major League Baseball’s annual Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa. I arrived early to the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. I took this picture of Reds players José Barrero and Aquino Aristides taking a knee in prayer.
Though I will never know their words, the players’ body language juxtaposed beneath the large image of Vin—who spoke often about family, God and country—moved me to capture a picture that expresses some of the emotions surrounding the game.
This is the kind of moment that lives on long past any game action photos.
Take the Reader Challenge
When photographing events, challenge yourself to go early, stay late and hunt for storytelling pictures away from game action on the court or field.
Always keep an eye out for photographs that reveal emotion over simple action. In other words, look for pictures that express how one feels above what one is doing.
Email your best image (just one, please) with caption information, including an explanation of how it affects you, to GPH@pur.coop. We may share submissions on our website and social media channels.