Some days I really like my job. I have always liked sports, but to me, sports is as much, if not more, about the emotional connections. Fan to fan connections can bring together varied folks of varied backgrounds in ways other things can’t. Sports did more for race relations than many, many other social programs designed specifically to bridge that gap. Field of Dreams works as a film because when all else failed, the Ray Kinsella father son relationship endured because of one tiny piece of common ground. Baseball. That relationship also exists Fan to Team and vice versa. The right player in the wrong town can be a disaster, while some towns fit players so well, that they play in ways they never have before or after. There is another emotion that occurs that I am privileged enough to get glimpses of, the emotion and camaraderie that exists player to player.
That last category is why I was at Citizens Bank Park last night to cover Jayson Werth’s return as a Washington National. Last year when I covered the NLCS, some of my favorite pictures were the ones I took of Pat Burrell laughing with his former team mates before the game.
So I went to get some more of those with Jayson Werth…
…and all I got was that!
So many valuable in lessons in that, not the first of which is, when you do any kind of news photography, don’t shoot the event in your head before hand… go there and shoot what you see. Those images you have in your head never seem to pan out! Focus on your subject and then pull back to give it context.
Second? Maybe you can’t really go home again. (I experience this on an almost DAILY basis as I live in the town I grew up in.) But that gaggle of Phillies and Werth as a National I hoped to see, just didn’t happen. Maybe it happened later, or way before, but not on the field. I did get some great images of Werth just taking it all in, enjoying the moment and interacting with the fans in a very positive way. The glove on the head (image 18) was my fave. Here are the published Jayson Werth images I shot for WPHL…