On Assignment: #Sports and #Features from the Week


It’s been a busy week shooting sports and feature assignments: Soccer, Football, and a few Superheroes.

Here are some of my favorites.

Over the Shoulder –

Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash.

That was a lucky shot, but a play I intended to get. I was focused on the quarterback. He was having a hard time finding an open man. As I was photographing him, I saw him turn towards me and then set his feet to throw. I quickly looked over my camera and noticed the receiver break free from the line of scrimmage.

As I was watching the receiver, he turned and then I saw the quarterback throw. I focused on the receiver and when he raised his arms up to catch, I started taking photos.

***TIP: Watch the quarterback for a pass play and pay attention to where they look. This will give you a second or two to find the receiver and get the shot of them catching the ball or not.

Zipping Away

Addison Jager, 7, of Belingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. Coordinator Michele Medlen of Bellingham says over 200 people registered for the fundraiser. She said about $5 thousand was raised that goes to hospital caregivers and staff in need of financial assistance. Medlen said the monies raised are a source of financial support for hospital caregivers and employees in times of financial stress due to illness, injury, tragedy or death of a family member. Medlen added that the goal of the race was to

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Addison Jager, 7, of Bellingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash.

It was just a fun run so my feature experiences kicked in. I saw the kids playing and knew I could get some decent features for the online gallery. I panned for this shot to get her sharp with the blurred background.

Missed Opportunity –

Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison.

This was an unexpected play by everyone. The running back, Taran Lambert, was caught at the line of scrimmage, but then he somehow broke through and bolted. Drew Krause saw this and dove to stop him to no avail.

Continuing to follow the action when it seems it’s over gives you an opportunity to capture good action.

Foul Play –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Meridian's Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome's Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Meridian’s Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome’s Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. A foul was called on the play resulting in a score by Sehome. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give you when shooting soccer is: Find a pair that are just aggressive towards each other and follow them as you shoot the game. You’ll get good images from it.

Missed it By That Much –

Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter.

When I shoot football, I pay attention to field position and how strong the teams are. As the teams approach the “Red Zone,” I position my self near the goal post and switch to my 80-200 for versatility. That way I can get the corners plus when the team runs the ball down the center.

Squalicum had a good running game going, but failed to capitalize on several red zone opportunities. Had I stayed at the sideline like a lot of photographers do, I would’ve missed this photo.

Not This Time –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome's Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome’s Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

In addition to shooting the action, I also had a few players on each team I needed to photograph. Sydney Gospodinovich in one of the best goalkeepers in the Northwest Conference. I shot from midfield so I could get some good action shots of her.

A Friend to Carry You –

Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash. Bennett says the

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash.

As part of any feature hunt, look for fun images. I liked this moment because it says it all.

Attempted Interception –

Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the socre 27-13.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the score 27-13.

Another photo I would’ve missed had I stayed on the sideline. Lynden was in the Red Zone so I switched to my 80-200 for the versatility. I kept my eye on the quarterback and when he dropped to throw and looked right, I focused on Jordan Wittenberg. I began shooting when he turned around and lifted his arms. I just wish you could see his face, but this also shows how well defensiveman Joe Daniels plays.

For more photos from these shoots, visit my galleries:

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance editorial photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

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