Sports Photography

Behind the Lens: Los Angeles Kings

Brian Kuhlmann is a very talented photographer I had the opportunity to work with. Coincidence or not he's originated from Chicago, IL! This assignment happened right before playoffs were about to begun. I remember walking into the practice facility in my Drew Doughty jersey and my 300mm not ready to mess around; coming out of the tunnel with an extra foot and a half on me in skates and low and behold Drew Doughty himself almost out of kids fantasy. 

Sports have been bled into my life throughout my childhood; however, as you all know it's never about the sport, it's about the people that make us become so passionate about a team. A rivalry is what creates the competitive nature to win to compete, most important to be the very best. This project was top secret for awhile as it played a priority leading into the playoffs. 

Each and everyday I am very gracious for the career I lead, the opportunities it has landed me, the people I have met. The networking opportunities that I embrace and create so that each and every artist I have met along my path is creating the best work they can put together. It's about a bond, a drive, and a goal, the fact that others are helping each day as a team is the key to success; the knowledge of knowing. Photographers, artists, and producers all have a goal and always need a helping hand getting there because it's the fact that your network that you have created is honestly your team. As Marcel Dionne the very great had Charlie Simmer, Rogie Vachon, & Dave Taylor always by his side to help his HOF career shine. 

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G.O.A.T

Remember the memories that created you and stood by you to become the person that you are. I love sports, and seeing your child hood icon close out his final chapter in his playing career is a big phenomena that lasted around the entire NBA. Kobe Bryant will forever be missed and is known to me especially; as the greatest of all time. 

Iphone-ography at it's best 

For this trip, I traveled to Milwaukee, which is about a 90 drive north of Chicago. Growing up being a constant Lakers fan drew me to the obsession of this game. You must find what fuels you and pushes your self motives and inspirations, not just related to your career but related to your life. We live once and we all must make the most of it with the magic we are supplied with; at all costs. 

Stadium Series

This post is all about travel, places and spaces. I love sports more than anything because it's a way for athletes to show their passion for something through their physical strengths and attributes.

 

The Walls of the World Champion Kansas City Royals.

The coliseums, or better known as main stage. Where an athlete steps on to showcase their passion for the love of a game, as I have a passion for my photography. As rock stars get ready to get on stage, an athlete does the same thing day in and night out. Putting all you have out on the main stage for the world to see is what some live for! 

It's stage brings it's own elements to the table. Creating the tone around the environment and drama needed for most sports stages. I have started this series a number of years ago, I would say this was the start where I photographed an MMA fight for Tactical forces. 

Architecture for me is the beginning steps of just about any franchise. Take the Chicago Cubs for instance. Wrigley Field is such a magical place because of the people who have walked through there and the legends who brought the magic back to the ivy. It's the people inside the walls who let the brick and mortar feel so special just by walking through the gates.

Gone In A Flash

Over my years in this industry, the photographer life is one with many avenues. You never know where an assignment will take you in life. My most recent assignment took me to the "World's Largest Corn Maze" which included a run/walk for participants. One of the fastest recorded times was close to 12 minutes. I believe the record was actually broke in seconds, but who am I to judge since no one was quick enough to catch the Flash except myself. 

Richardson Farms; World Champions Chicago Blackhawks CornMaze 2015; ©Sosaphoto2015

Richardson Farms; World Champions Chicago Blackhawks CornMaze 2015. 

Gone In A Flash! ©Sosaphoto2015

Some of the best experiences I get is meeting the people who come to these sort of magical places. For me it's about hearing those stories of why they came out that day and what makes memories like that so special to a family, a child or even from a dogs perspective. No matter the temperature (as cold as it got that day, close to low 30's) there's always a turnout. There's the rest of society who chooses to sleep in and dream a little longer; however, as a photographer I choose to take that reality we have in front of us and transcribe it to create a dream like look. Whoever missed out will feel right in place with the rest of the explorers from that day. No matter the subject, the character or place it's about recreating the dream so that each viewer is welcome to enjoy whatever endeavors they seek. 

Let's Go Run, All Community Events Family Portrait; ©Sosaphoto2015

Pre-Run and race featuring jogger and dog getting ready for festivites. ©Sosaphoto2015

Know Your Presence

Outside of my studio environment I must always have my special hats on. No I'm not talking about costumes, I just mean my hat of presence and of heightening my senses to notice the details of my surroundings. 

I've been a man of many hobbies and interests. Yoga is a greater form of stretching to me; however, to many others it is a spiritual task and a greater understanding of ones body. Breathing alone is the key to being a yogi. This is where you need presence the most, where you tend to find the composition around the environment to create the story. 

Always remember to smell the roses 

And breath the air around.

Resurrection

Caution Infected! Watch your step, the next leg of the way. Please remain seated and keep your arms and legs inside your desk area at all times. What you're about to see may be Fictitious, but may spook you out of your seat. 

The Resurrection has begun! Photographed "The Zombie Run" group of infected individuals before they spread!

I had the pleasure of photographing "The Zombie Run" before the resurrection happened. Some volunteers came with their own make up; however, this event had their own make up stations for the humans who wanted to get extra bloody. Make up by Jessica Heibeck and the special FX team in Chicago, Illinois. 

My favorite part, was seeing all these creative people take initiative to let them stand out as much as possible. I had seen one family after the morning run and they caught my eye. I don't know if it was all the fake blood, as they chomped into a good sandwich. Maybe, the empty baby stroller with blood all over it. Either way, they sure caught my eye. Showing me, even as a zombie you can be anyone.  

After leaping away from danger; time and time again, I escaped the clutches of evil for the evening event. This is where the spooky took control, a hero had to be found. Searching the entire night for someone to save the day from all the zombies, it was as if there were no cure and better yet no escape from the claws of evil! 

I had seen enough. The last straw of evil was in front of me. The remaining survivors were losing hope as the goal to reach 500 survivors weren't working well enough because the infected just kept spreading out. There was nothing left to be seen; but wait! Is it a plane, a train, an automobile; it was faster than any locomotive and speeding bullet I've ever seen! Passing all the undead to the finish line! It's SUPERMAN!

Superman To The Rescue!

A Helping Hand

One of the things I love to do to get situated and acclimated in a new area is to try and give back anyway possible. One organization I found to help out was Colon Cancer Coalition; they were doing a 5k race/walk called "Get Your Rear In Gear!"

Cancer is a tough battle for anyone involved in it anyway. The key to beating Cancer is support and strength. This means the battle is also tough for the loved ones around us. Only high spirits and high hopes can overcome this obstacle in ones life. When I stepped into this event, I had no idea of the stories that I would leave with because of it. 

A family coming together in joy to embrace the memories they had of a beloved mother, sister and wife. 

Some people came together to embrace happiness of a loved one that was lost to the fight. I had the great pleasure of meeting this amazing group of family and friends of Natalie. Her daughters and son did the 5k along with the entire group, raising a large amount of money for Colon Cancer Awareness. Being touched by so many individuals I wanted to give back in a larger way that day, so I created this video. 

The biggest survivor I had met that day was Sharon Wells. Her and her husband Devin had created the event to gain awareness towards the community of Elgin, Illinois. I take it they succeeded by hitting their goal and more that day with a huge turn out. It was a personal pleasure to meet Sharon and hear her story of catching the cancer early and beating the odds, all with the support of her loving husband and 2 sons. 

Progresiva-A Definition

Orlando Johnson, NBA Guard (UCSB 2011)

Long ago I learned a phrase called Progresiva! In Cuba, "Progresiva" was an Elementary through High School education program that most my grandparents family went to. This also included some college courses as well. Learning is always about progressing, each and everyday. You can never quit learning, even when we turn old and grey there's always something new to learn. All you can do is be open minded and take it all in. Always Progressing! 

I had the privilege of photographing Orlando Johnson during my studies at Brooks Institute of Photography. Orlando is a prime example of "Progresiva". Then he was a top prospect for UCSB on his way into the NBA. Now, the team that drafted him; The Indiana Pacers, are in the playoffs. He got traded in the midst of the season but he helped get them where they're at now. Still to this day Orlando flourishes showing off his talents to the most of capabilities. 

Behind the Scenes, seen here capturing the essence of an athlete (2011) Photographed by Benjo Arwas.

As the saying goes, "All for One, One for All". Progresiva isn't just for athletes, it's for all. Seen below is one of my close friends, Benjo Arwas. He too is another prime example of "Progresiva". He assisted me that day, furthering my series and helping make what it is today. Don't compare us; there's always room for another photographer in this world, as long as we progress with what we love.

Benjo Arwas, seen here standing in for light tests. 

Orlando Johnson, seen here posing at The Thunderdome! (2011)

Orlando and I circa 2011. Photographed by Benjo Arwas.

Sosa 1.0 is what I like to say, in the steps of learning. 

Now you know this saying I live by. Film for me has always lead my path and forever will, it is one way for my soul to speak. Looking into the past just brings insight of what else I need to do to get to where I want to be in life. I've come a long way since then, pushing my career to greater days and even getting a healthy mind on life. Take each day as a new day; a day to learn, progress, and most importantly KICK ASS! 

Seasons A Changin'

"Nick Swisher, Unfinished Business"- Print Ad Campaign 2014

As you all know, there are only 4 seasons. After getting up and changing my whole atmosphere, my life had to transition and adjust to what was around me. Coming from the "Sunshine State", you gotta get out, network and love where you're at. However; what I've seen on the east coast, the masses were more than content trapping themselves in Hibernation until mother nature herself has transitioned. 

Hollywood is a land where dreams are made and lives are changed. I on the other hand had grown up there, so I had to get out to see my dreams come true. My life gave me the privilege of photographing the Cleveland Indians Ad Campaign. 

Active Lifestyle

Lately, I've felt rejuvenated. Most people would say I'm a morning person; I'd say I just love sunlight that much! You have to think of yourself in life as a plant, everyday you need sunlight and food to grow. Everyday needs to be a productive and kick butt kinda day! Sleep is for tomorrow, then again tomorrow never comes around when your having fun. 

Get in that AM zone!

I did this shoot not to long ago in Santa Barbara for the Fess Parker Double Tree. I planned it out about 2 or 3 months in advance. Finding models and getting the location dialed in right on time. It was a really fun shoot for me. When people say they hate Monday's, I just laugh about it because as you see my Mondays sure are quite different from most.  

Monday's are the WORST! Not for me.

An active lifestyle is the only lifestyle I know as of late. Everyone wants to know what's got me ticking as of late. Once you get all the kinks and distractions out of the way you start to focus on the main objective and really start to give it your all to one thing. I'm pleased that I can build on my career, hobbies and loves and yet really give it my all to what I love to shoot everyday! Keeping fit helps as well, it keeps my mind and body at peace and lets me focus on what I need to focus on in life.  This shoot really let me sink in to this idea and notion of where I'm at in life. Hope you enjoy the shots and get your fit on! 

Get Your Fit On!

Downtown Glow Run!

About a month ago I got the opportunity to shoot the LivingSocial 5K Glow Run!  The coolest thing about the 5k is that at the end of the race they had a dance party as well.

It was set in Downtown LA at the Historic Park.  The weather that night was historic in it's self; the harvest moon was just coming to an end and the clouds had been rolling in! Here are a select few of images from that night.

LivingSocial 5K Start, ©Sosaphoto2013

There was a very large turn out of runners.  There had to be multiple start off times because of the amount of people.  Luckily, I'm in somewhat of decent shape as of late since I had to catch up to some of the runners. 

Take off!, ©Sosaphoto2013

I'm an architecture guy myself, so when I see the right moment for the best view I catch it! Towards the end of the race I got that opportunity; the racers were running through these dance tunnels that had changed colors and played music throughout.  It aligned perfectly with Downtown right as the runners were coming close to the finish line. Everyone charged full speed ahead! 

Full Speed Ahead!, ©Sosaphoto2013