soccer

2015: A Look Back – My Year in Photos

Well, it’s the end of the year. Which of course means here are my favorite images I shot during 2015. Some were easy to pick, some were not. Some may not be technically perfect, some may not be well composed, some may have crappy lighting, but here are some of my faves of 2015. For more images, visit my gallery 2015: My Year in Photos.

It is hard to pick my favorite photos of 2015, and making it harder is that I like to shoot sports, weddings, portraits, news, and landscapes with equal vigor. When I shoot, I put in all my skill and more effort than required. For me, having my name attached to it means I put my all into it. This is not just a hobby of mine, but a passion. Prints of these or any of my photos are available for purchase. Click on the photo so it can take you to the gallery where you can buy a print of your favorite image.

Grueling Take Down

Squalicum defenders wrap up Bellingham wide receiver Cole Allain (3) as he attempts a kick return during the first quarter of the season opener at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Sept. 4, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum defenders wrap up Bellingham wide receiver Cole Allain (3) as he attempts a kick return during the first quarter of the season opener at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Sept. 4, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

I like this photos because it shows the moment of impact when the three opposing players tackled the ball carrier. The strength is shown in their arms, the struggle to move the ball up in his face, and the power of the tacklers. It has a face, a moment, framing, and the ball.

Click Here to View More Of My Favorites!!!

Wild Weekend Warriors: Squalicum Soccer & Football

Congratulations to the Squalicum girls soccer and boys football for winning and advancing to the state playoffs.

It was a Saturday full of Squalicum glory as the Storm girl’s soccer defeated Black Hills in District 2A state quarterfinals 6 to 0, and the boy’s football beat WF West 31 to 29 to advance in the state playoffs.

My first game was the Squalicum girls as they dominated Black Hills. The sports editor David Rasbach said Squalicum was a strong team with a strong winning streak. This will the fourth year in a row they go to the state finals.

Rising Above

Squalicum's Sarah Hulbert (8) gains height over Black Hills' Sidney Lowe (2) to head the ball away from the goal during the first half in the Class 2A Girls' Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th.

Squalicum’s Sarah Hulbert (8) gains height over Black Hills’ Sidney Lowe (2) to head the ball away from the goal during the first half in the Class 2A Girls’ Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

I had two bodies and two lenses: A D300s with a 400 f/2.8 and a D3s with a 70-200. As Squalicum was dominating by solid control of the ball, I sat about 10 yards right of the goal so I could get the scoring.

First Goal

Squalicum's Catelyn Stevens (11), left, congratulates Kim Hazlett (3) after Hazlett scored the first goal against Black Hills.

Squalicum’s Catelyn Stevens (11), left, congratulates Kim Hazlett (3) after Hazlett scored the first goal against Black Hills during the first half Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6 to 0 to advance. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Also, by sitting in that position, it’s easier to get faces as they take a shot on goal, and reactions if they score. You get great interaction between offense and defense as the offense is amped to score, and the defense tries to stop it.

Close Call

Squalicum's Braeden Hilleary (5) watches as the ball goes over Black Hills defender Janae Grimm (10) and goalkeeper Jordan Westby during the first half of the Class 2A Girls' Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th.

Squalicum’s Braeden Hilleary (5) watches as the ball goes over Black Hills defender Janae Grimm (10) and goalkeeper Jordan Westby during the first half of the Class 2A Girls’ Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th. (©Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

As Squalicum continued to dominate, Black Hills became more aggressive in their defense. This made for good one-on-one action shots.

Another Score

The Squalicum girls celebrate their third goal against Black Hills during the second half of the Class 2A Girls' Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th.

The Squalicum girls celebrate their third goal against Black Hills during the second half of the Class 2A Girls’ Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

The Battle

Squalicum's Kim Dorr (16) collides with Black Hills' Janae Grimm (10) in the first half of the Class 2A Girls' Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Saturday November 20th.

Squalicum’s Kim Dorr (16) collides with Black Hills’ Janae Grimm (10) in the first half of the Class 2A Girls’ Soccer State Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Black Hills 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals at Shoreline Stadium on Friday November 20th. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

During the game, the rain escalated to a constant downpour. I had a late afternoon deadline I needed to make so I left to go to Wood’s Coffee to download, edit, transmit, and warm up. As I was working on my pictures, I could see the rain get progressively worse.

Almost Intercepted

Squalicum's Noah Westhoff and WF West's Garrett Yarter (12) go up for a pass intended for Yarter during the third quarter on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, in the District 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash.

Squalicum’s Noah Westerhoff and WF West’s Garrett Yarter (12) go up for a pass intended for Yarter during the third quarter on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, in the District 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the interception as Squalicum defeated WF West 31-29. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

As the second game I was assigned to cover began, it became clear the rain would be a factor. Thankfully, I had my gear covered to protect it. But I, however, became completely soaked by the end of the first quarter.

The Classic “Jersey Pull”

Squalicum's Brian Pullman (22) and Will Nickleson (32) tackle WF West's Elijah Johnson (3) at the line of scrimmage during the third quarter in the first round of District 2A State Playoffs on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated WF West 31 to 29.

Squalicum’s Brian Pullman (22) and Will Nickleson (32) tackle WF West’s Elijah Johnson (3) at the line of scrimmage during the third quarter in the first round of District 2A State Playoffs on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated WF West 31 to 29. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum did not play well in the first quarter. Fumbles, sacks, and an interception kept them at their best. But they would rally and give WF West a run for their money.

TOUCHDOWN!!!

WF West's Kolby Steen (30) attempts to tackle Squalicum's Josiah Westbrook (1) from scoring a late second quarter touchdown on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, during the first round of the District 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerbrook scored the touchdown and the resulting extra point made the score 14 to 21 at the end of the first half.

Squalicum’s Brian Pullman (22) and Will Nickleson (32) tackle WF West’s Elijah Johnson (3) at the line of scrimmage during the third quarter in the first round of District 2A State Playoffs on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated WF West 31 to 29. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

As I had deadline, I left at the end of the third quarter. But did I miss a good show. After Bellingham tied to make it 21 all, the went on to score another TD making it 28-21. WF West scored again and then made a 2 point conversion with 2 minutes left making it 29-28.

The Mighty Tumble

Squalicum's Creighton Kaui (16), bottom, and Kyle Basart (63) take down WF West's Nathan Anglin (7) at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, in the first round of District 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated WF West 31 to 29.

Squalicum’s Creighton Kaui (16), bottom, and Kyle Basart (63) take down WF West’s Nathan Anglin (7) at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter on Saturday evening Nov. 14, 2015, in the first round of District 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated WF West 31 to 29. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

On their last drive, Squalicum got within field goal range and Ben Peterson made a 24 yard field goal to make the score 31 to 29. A wild end to a wild game.

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

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning freelance 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 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.

Wet & Wild: Football and Futbol in the Rain

This weekend was a fun one. IF you consider shooting two games in the pouring rain fun, then it was an absolute blast. After all, it is the Pacific Northwest.

The rains were relentless. Starting, stopping, hard, soft, cold, warm. Typical Pacific Northwest autumnal weather. Now you know why many around here call it “The NorthWet.”

Failed Reception

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) takes down Oakville's Casey Davis (16) as he attempts a reception during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) takes down Oakville’s Casey Davis (16) as he attempts a reception during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Friday I shot the Blackhawks from Lummi Nation School  against the Acorns of Oakville High School in Division 2B playoff.

On Saturday, I headed to Sedro-Woolley High School to photograph the Squalicum girl’s soccer against Shorecrest in the Class 2A Nortwest District Championship game.

Almost Sacked

Lummi's Dashawn Lawrence (10) tackles the Oakville quarterback during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence (10) tackles the Oakville quarterback during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

To battle the weather and still get good images from the game, I wrapped my gear in a plastic trash bag. I first cut a hole in one of the bottom corners the size of my lens hood. I pushed the hood of the lens through then used gaffer’s tape to secure it.

Get Outta My Way!

Lummi's Hank Hoskins (24), right, pushes off Oakville's Casey Davis (16) during the first quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Hank Hoskins (24), right, pushes off Oakville’s Casey Davis (16) during the first quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Then I cut tiny holes where the camera straps would go though. The rest of the bag I let flop over the body for protection from the rain when I didn’t have it to my eye. The extra I used to cover my head to prevent the camera body from getting wet. It mostly worked.

While shooting, I had two bodies so I did this to both. On Saturday when I shot the Squalicum girls soccer team against Shorecrest, I had to do the same thing. But the rain was worse.

Chest Bump!

Squalicum's Kim Door (16) stops the ball during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. Squalicum defeated Shorecrest 2 to 1. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum’s Kim Door (16) stops the ball during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. Squalicum defeated Shorecrest 2 to 1. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

And even though I dressed for the rain, I was soaked to the bone 10 minutes into the games. Ahhh the trials and tribulations of the sports photographer.

Head Bump

Shorecrest's Julia Strand (21) battles with Squalicum's Kim Door during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Shorecrest’s Julia Strand (21) battles with Squalicum’s Kim Door during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi was a powerhouse on the field. They dominated every major play. Oakville just couldn’t break through either the offensive or defensive line. Lummi went on to win 56-8 to advance to the state playoffs.

But to be fair, even in 8-man football, having only 11 players on the roster is a major disadvantage.

The Squalicum girls continue their pursuit of State Champion. The won the game 2 to 1 to claim the Class 2A Northwest District championship. Perhaps a repeat of their state championship is in order.

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

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning freelance 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.

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.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings.

Don’t forget to sign up for email updates with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

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.

Follow the Action, Score Some Shots: Tips for Better Soccer Photography

The action was pretty fantastic on Saturday. The movement up and down the field, goalkeepers diving, and the midfield action was captivating.

Whatcom Community College hosted Shoreline Community College in women’s and men’s soccer on Saturday afternoon October 4, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash. Shoreline defeated both teams. Whatcom woman lost 2 to 0, and the men lost via a last-minute goal 1 to 0.

Up & Over:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Whatcom Community College freshman forward Canyon Silliman (18) goes above Shoreline Community College jufreshman defensiveman Ryan Anderson (12) during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 by a last minute second half goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – WCC freshman forward Canyon Silliman (18) goes above SCC freshmen defensive man Ryan Anderson (12) during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 by a last-minute second half goal.

Photographing soccer can be fun and challenging. There may be a lot of action, but if you don’t pay attention, you could easily miss the game winning play or score. Having patience and anticipating moments will also help you get better shots.

A Good Defense … :

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Shoreline Community College defensive man Andres Lepe (14), left, defends against WCC forward Conlon Kiffney during the second half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. Shoreline defeated Whatcom 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Shoreline Community College defensive man Andres Lepe (14), left, steals the ball from WCC forward Conlon Kiffney during the second half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. Shoreline defeated Whatcom 1 to 0 with a last-minute goal.

Here’s a few tips to help you.

Observe the players – Watch while you shoot how the players from opposing teams pair up. Especially at the goals. Your best action will come from the two as they battle for the ball.

Placement – Where you decide to shoot from is important. You’ll capture the best facial expressions when opposing team players battle for the ball as they are coming towards you. Staying midfield the entire game will get you some good action, but spend 10 minutes midfield observing which team is the stronger.

Obvious Foul:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Whatcom Community College forward Ashley Hughes (10) battles with Shoreline Community College defensiveman Selene Aguila (7) and Mackenzie Bolton (14)  as she heads towards the goal during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Whatcom Community College forward Ashley Hughes (10) battles with Shoreline Community College defensive man Selene Aguila (7) and Mackenzie Bolton (14) as she heads towards the goal. SCC defeated WCC 2-0

Head to the Goal – Once you figure out who is the stronger team, head to the goal where they will be scoring. Stay to the left or right about 15 feet. This gives you good action as the opposing team approaches the goal as well as puts you in position for corner kicks.

Corner Kicks – Get yourself between the corner where the ball will be kicked from and the goal. That way the players are looking towards the ball as it approaches. This gives you good facial expressions as the teams battle for the ball.

Front of Goal Battle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Shoreline Community College defensiveman Konstantin Reutov (5) and WCC midfielder Emile Diffley (7) battle for the ball during the second half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. Shoreline defeated Whatcom 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – SCC defensive man Konstantin Reutov (5) and WCC midfielder Emile Diffley (7) battle for the ball during the second half. These two paired up most of the game.

Be Fluid – Be prepared to move as the game progresses. For example, the dominate team may be overcome by smart play from the other team. You may have to switch goals partway through the half.

Offense vs Defense – Spend some time shooting both. From midfield you can get the defense as they protect their goal. The offense can be shot from the goal as they attempts to score.

Header:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  SCC forward Hayley Warren (15), left, goes over WCC defensiveman Emily Russell (15) during the first half. SCC defeated WCC with 2 second half goals 2 to 0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – SCC forward Hayley Warren (15), left, goes over WCC defensive man Emily Russell (15) during the first half. SCC defeated WCC with 2 second half goals 2 to 0.

Don’t worry about missing shots – Seriously, getting stressed over shots you missed is just a waste of energy. Be patient. You’ll get your shots. Like being on the wrong end of the field when one of the teams scores. It happens.

Stay on your knees – Keeping low will make it easier to get faces as they’re looking down at the ball. Plus, if you happen to get a player falling, it’ll be easier to keep focused on the face. Yes, people fall pretty hard. Even I did when I played.

Defensive Move:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - SCC defensiveman Konstantin Reutov (5) boots the ball from WCC forward Tomas Alvarado during the second half at Orcas Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – SCC defensiveman Konstantin Reutov (5) boots the ball from WCC forward Tomas Alvarado during the second half at Orcas Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

Lenses – Long glass isn’t truly essential. But a 70-210 is enough if you stay near the goals and have patience. You can even use that lens as you photograph from midfield and wait for the action to come to you. Some photographers even mount remote cameras with wide-angle lenses in the goals. But for the most part, a 70-210 is works well.

Keep extra cards handy – This may seem like a no brainer, but I’ve actually run into photographers that have to delete images because they filled their cards. As they do so, they miss shots. Also, change them before they are full. The more images on a card, the slower the camera writes to it as it has to find space.

The biggest tip i can give you, though, is simply:

Don’t Rely On The Motor Drive. ANTICIPATE the peak moment and begin shooting just before the peak then follow through.

Remember, the action is fast. If you rely on the quick shutter to capture that moment when the ball is on a player’s head, then you are more than likely to miss it. Anticipate that moment and start firing when the moment begins. It takes a lot of practice, but once you learn the shutter lag of your camera (the time the shutter trips once you press the button) and practice, you’ll begin getting those shots.

Practice. Practice. Practice.  As I’ve said before Photography is Not a Spectator Sport.”

For more Shoreline Community College vs Whatcom Community College soccer photos, visit my gallery WCC hosts SCC in Woman’s & Men’s Soccer

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 is a Seattle based photojournalist specializing in news, sports, feature, travel, and portraiture. He also photographs weddings and portraits in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Skagit County.

He is available for assignments in the Pacific Northwest. Contact him at paulconradphotography@gmail.com or (206) 450-8632 for availability.