NFL American Football International - Los Angeles Rams -v- New York Giants Twickenham

October 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

After a busy Saturday shooting Premiership football, I travelled very early down to Twickenham for the NFL to capture images of the 2016 National Football League (NFL) American Football International Series game between the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants on behalf of Action Plus Sports Images.

There was limited parking at the Stadium due to most of it being taken over for a Fan Zone, so I decided to use the stadium day free shuttle buses from Richmond (approximately 5 minutes drive from the stadium). I arrived nice and early as the Fan Zone opened at 9:15am and I knew it would get very busy very early based on my experience last year. As I did not attend any of the pre-game activities this week, I needed to collect my media accreditation for the day. Even though I was early there was still a couple of 'togs' already waiting in line for the media desk to open. It was a good time to say hello to our American counterparts shooting for various NFL editorial agencies from the USA. After picking up my accreditation and going through the usual bag searches, I headed to the photographers lounge. Here, I set up a work area and plugged in to the trusted Ethernet port. I had already heard that the wifi coverage here is none existent and the only way to send images out is to return back to the photographers room. 

My first task whilst the stadium was reasonably empty was to get some general views. Twickenham is a three tier stadium similar in style to those in the USA and with a capacity of 82,000 people. As with Wembley, access to the upper tiers of the stadium involves searching out the right lift to access the right levels. Thankfully the media team were very helpful and showed me the way and also highlighted some great spots for me. From such a great vantage point it was possible to overlook the team arrivals and the entire Fan Zone with stage, NFL shop, various football activities and food outlets. From above it was a sea of colour with many fans wearing their own team shirts (not just the two competing today). They were here to enjoy the sport of NFL football. My next stop was the Fan Zone to capture images of fans of today's teams that had made an effort to dress up, bring team memorabilia and perhaps get their faces painted in team colours.

After downloading and wiring my pre-game images I was out on pitch side to get the lay of the land. Thankfully, we had access to all sides of the pitch to capture the action. This stadium is one of only two in the NFL were both teams come out of the same tunnel. Normally, teams comes out of separate tunnels due to the location of team changing rooms. This proved advantageous to us togs in that we only had to move a small distance to capture the teams entering. NY Giants enter the field to the right and LA Rams to the left. The pregame entertainment included the english musician Craig David and LA Rams Cheerleaders (home team in this case). With all the celebrations over, let the game commence.

As with shooting at Premiership football, we aim to be high enough to shoot over the sideline electronic advertising boards but low enough not to impinge on paying spectators. The great thing here is that we can move at any time to any location around the pitch to capture our shots. American football is split in to four quarters (each of 15minutes) so you would imagine that this would be a quick game, but games do go on for up to 3 hours allowing for stoppages of play and half time. Thankfully, this makes it possible to shoot back to the media room and download, caption, edit and send images on the news wire.

In my preparations for the game, it is always worth a look in the current team news to see what's a hot topic and potential stories. Again there were a few notable players to follow during the pre-game warm up and during the game. I managed to capture a number of touch downs so I was lucky in being in the right place at the right time. I always looked for possible image opportunities and seek to develop my creativity and utilise whats in front of me to tell a story.

It was a great sporting spectacle and only on pitch side do you really appreciate how tough this sport is and seeing the injuries they receive. Seeing and capturing the sporting action, supporters and cheerleaders over the course of the game enabled me to get some great images of the day and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thankfully, I understand I am to shoot the last NFL game this year at Wembley next Sunday so really looking forward to capturing some great images. More information about the last game at the NFL UK site.

The event images have been uploaded to the Action Plus Sports Images, so please take a look at them. 


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