Ohio State needed a win against the top-ranked Terps to have a chance at competing in the post season. You could feel the excitement about whether they could extend their season into the Big10 Tournament. Not only that, it was one of the nicest and warmest days we’ve had all spring, with a gorgeous sunset to start the second half. The Buckeyes started off hot and were only down a goal at half-time, but just couldn’t stop the Maryland offense. Here are a few of my favorites on and off the field.
It’s always a treat for a client to trust you with access. The opportunity to go behind the curtain and show the world the moments off the field is one of my favorite parts of this job. While each team is different, coaches and players have their superstitions/rituals/traditions before and after games. Here’s a few favorites from when Ohio State took on Johns Hopkins at Historic Homewood Field. It was a game that started with snow, had 25 goals, ended with sun and me editing pictures on the train to NYC.
Having been in Baltimore for 6 years, it was odd but I had never worked a lacrosse game at UMBC. I’d covered the America East Soccer Championship a few times, but for whatever reason never covered lacrosse there. At UMBC all the fields are congregated in one area of campus, so there’s tons of lights around, it was fascinating to see all the lights for the different fields and play with them as backdrops. A few favorites from when long-time client, Stony Brook Seawolves took on the UMBC Retrievers.
With spring finally here, that means one thing here in Maryland … lacrosse and lots of it. With the NCAA regular season coming to a close and the post-season starting, we are going to take this week to share some of our favorite lacrosse photos from this exciting season. First up, long-time client Albany – without the Thompsons – taking on top-ranked Maryland at Capital One Stadium Byrd Field in College Park, MD. Albany is always fun as they play a really fast-paced, offensive-minded game. While I dislike the logistics of working at Byrd Field, the access and angles help make up for that. Here’s a few of my favorites from the game.
With a project this large, it’s never done alone. It’s a team effort to pull off a project of this size and complexity. We shot Feb 18 & 19 at 11 different locations, spending 32 hours on-set, most of it in the freezing cold. In fact, I’ve truly never been as cold as I was during Invictus. I wore sweats to bed and took hot showers, to finally return my body temperature to a normal level by the next week. I actually made a weather call for a shoot with a client, “It won’t be Invictus cold.” so we shot it.
It all started over 6 years ago before we even moved to Baltimore. I was a senior at Clemson with graduation approaching very fast, Em and I weren’t even engaged (though the ring was hiding under her bed in a safe spot), and I was at a very interesting fork in the road. Basically where do I go with my new college degree, what do I want to do, what am I supposed to do, where do Em and I want to start a life together post-college?
I went to school for Computer Science, but long before I had fallen in love with baseball, which led me in to photography. I would be so stoked to get Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine every week and would just study the photos. I always dreamed about being a staff photographer for SI or have my name as a contributor at ESPN. When I got to Clemson I was able to work at The Tiger where I was fortunate to meet an amazing group of professional photographers who took me under their wings, showed me the ropes and became a sounding board (Bart, Ken, Nathan, Phil, Sefton, Rex, Vern). I was able to grow from just working with The Tiger, Tina LeMay’s Office of Publications, working with the local papers and then eventually a wire service covering Clemson athletics.
With graduation coming up fast, I knew Em wouldn’t want to stay in South Carolina. I also didn’t want to stay anymore, I wanted to go out and experience something different. While I was able to make it rain at Tiger Town Tavern every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights; the stringing work I was doing wasn’t as sustainable as I would’ve liked. Having worked for the DoD as an intern in school, I had a very marketable technical skill set and had job offers all over the east coast. Neither of us had lived in a city and we wanted to have that experience. There was something about Baltimore that had a draw to it. So we decided that’s where we were going to live. We didn’t know what “it” was at the time.
I remember the first time I told them we’re moving to Baltimore – the reaction was less than positive – at our routine Sunday Schneider Family Dinner (Since we lived 20min from campus). My mom said, “Have you heard about ‘The Wire’?” – this from a family that has NEVER subscribed to HBO. “Why do you want to live in a city?”, “You know there’s lots of crime”. “What if you get mugged?” … and on for the whole dinner. Sadly these questions have plagued the last six years as I travel for work, see family, etc.
With my shiny new degree, a computer programming job and an engagement ring removed from hiding, I moved onto the 500 block of South Montford in Baltimore City during Snowpacalypse 2010. I even got to shovel out my street so the moving truck could bring the stuff to the house. I knew as I walked into my “real job” on the first day, I had made a mistake. I wasn’t going to sit behind a desk. I restarted my business and while I did a lot of editorial sports coverage, I wanted something more. I wanted to work on projects that have lasting impact, that make the viewer stop. I’ve found over the last year or so, I get super excited about projects that have a human element. The overarching questions for these projects are: “Why would someone do this?”, “What makes them tick?”, “Who are they?”.
I know we didn’t make a mistake moving to Baltimore. There’s an energy/buzz/passion that flows through the City every day. It was here as soon as we moved here on those snowy days in February. There are people – my friends, neighbors, acquaintances, creatives, entrepreneurs – who wake up, do their work and are a positive influence on the City. I was fortunate to get a grant for HackTheTrash and led a team of community activists, artists, and non-profits to not only help destroy litter, but to bring public, community art to the park. Baltimore allows you to be a maker, you just go out and do it. Em and I live across the street from Patterson Park – a beautiful urban oasis that Annie runs freely catching her tennis balls every day. We found a home, fixed it up, host parties, clean up the ally, watch out for neighbors, run the business and work in the City. This is the life we’ve built and we were only able to do it in Baltimore.
Fast forward to April 2015, we were at the Orioles game with out-of-town family the night before the riots. We attended a friend’s wedding at the Peabody Library the first night of the unrest; we went home and watched it after celebrating our friend’s new marriage. The next few days everything in the city got turned upside down. We watched protests turn violent, watch buildings burned, stores looted. We irrationally had Annie’s leash in the room and a golf club for protection the first night; because Annie’s aggresive bark and my Callaway steelhead was going to save us if someone looted the house. The second night we sat out with neighbors on our block having beers and talking, ignoring the City’s mandatory curfew. It was surreal and even though it was about 3 miles from the house, it felt like a whole world away.
We all agreed on one thing – This isn’t the Baltimore we knew. The Baltimore we knew got up the next day, helped the businesses clean up the destruction, created a peaceful wall between protesters and police, and community groups came together to help stop the destruction.
The newest questions to add when I travel: “How were the riots, did you get hurt, was there damage?” “Is the city safe again?” “Are you going to move?” “Did I loose business do to the riots?” “What about that Mayor?” “Why didn’t they stop it?” and on and on.
There are real issues that Baltimore is dealing with on a daily basis: crime, poverty, post-industrial decay, blight, failing infrastructure, schools, budgets, local government mismanagement. These issues suck. There are people who trying to fix these issues. The worst part about calling Baltimore home – these constant questions are maddening/frustrating/sad. The outside doesn’t see the Baltimore we see every day.
We want to change the narrative and show the side of Baltimore we see everyday. As a creative, lets try to do it through art. Myself and Lee Morton of Mozell Films co-directed this collaborative stills + motion project. It’s a story of heart and hustle of a Baltimore teen, motivated by basketball, inspired by family to persevere through the environment. On Monday we’ll share the Making of Invictus 344.
A few months back I had chance to work with Sports+Lifestyle Unlimited model Alex on-location and in studio. This series was by far my favorite from the shoot.Originally I had it lit a lot more, but after taking a look at the images, I’m glad I switched to a simpler, more dramatic lighting setup.
Excited to have a chance to share one of my first assignments of the 2016 now that it has gone to press. I had another opportunity to work with Messiah College and their quarterly BRIDGE magazine photographing senior Katie Kaslow as she travels across the East Coast to perform her research. We were fortunate to catch her on tour before working at the National Archives in Washington, DC on what was the coldest day of 2016 so far this year with the temps at about 12 degrees when we started and a small wind of 20mph. Katy and my assistant Eric were troopers and we were able to knock out a few looks before the Archives opened up for the day.
It’s always exciting to have a cover, especially when you get bumped up due to the art. Thanks goes out to Katie, Eric and the Messiah College team who always gives me interesting assignments.
The night before the big race while documenting the spaghetti dinner celebrating all the athletes who would be competing in the Baltimore Running Festival the next day, I setup a seamless to shoot portraits of the racers with their bikes. It was tough to position a bike and the subject on a 9 foot seamless, but we were able to get it done. It was also a chance for me to get to know each of them better and to know a few who were not able to be a part of the reportage series. Here are the few that are my favorites from the night.
One of the most rewarding projects I had in 2015 was documenting the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Spinal Cord Injury Center’s hand cycling team training and competing in the Baltimore Running Festival. I spent 4 days during the month of October documenting their training rides and marathon day. Our goal was to show their patients as athletes. You think this would be obvious, but after talking with Erin and the team throughout the planning process, the general public doesn’t see their work, dedication, and that they are in fact athletes because they spend their days in a wheelchair. We wanted to change that.
For those of you who haven’t been in Baltimore for a Marathon Day, you are missing out because it’s amazing. People line the streets to watch thousands file by while in agony, usually beer in hand; Em and I live right on the Marathon’s path; our neighbors also throw a great party. It’s definitely worth experiencing in person.
Some of them have raced (running to dirt bikes) before their injury, while others have found it as an outlet after injury. Most of the racers are mechanically inclined due to constant fixing issues with their chairs or bikes to solve daily life issues. There’s something about working with these athletes that I have yet to articulate well, other than I’m always truly inspired by their attitude, work ethic and determination.
Tomorrow I’ll share the studio portraits of the team. Here’s a link to the full story – http://www.ebrianschneider.com/handcycle/