On the 24th of January while covering the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings I was in the end zone when Saints place kicker Garrett Hartley lined up for the kick, the biggest kick of his short career. I did not have an angle on the field goal itself, so I snapped one shot of Hartley lined up looking over the line and I turned and focused on head coach Sean Payton on the sideline.
I did not see the kick and it took an incredible amount of will for me not to look, it was the biggest field goal attempt in Saints history yet I did not look, I peered in on the sideline with coach Payton and Saints players anxiously waiting the result. I knew one thing, I would get a shot of total elation or despair, and as the ball was being prepared to be kicked I locked in my focus on Sean Payton and waited, and at the moment the kick sailed through the uprights sending the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Super Bowl, I froze time of the moment of celebration capturing possibly the most iconic photo in New Orleans Saints history.
The photo appeared that night on every single major sports website, ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, USA Today the image also appeared in print in the USA Today newspaper, the USA Today New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Commemorative Issue and New Orleans Living Magazine. One snap of the camera told the story of a franchise that had waited it’s entire existence for that moment 44 years it took, but the Saints were headed to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.
The image has become an intensely popular photo with fans, as web-sized copy’s were distributed by fans in a viral email of the Saints championship and some fans have even contacted me personally looking for a print.
I wish I could make the image available, but I can’t, it’s my image, but there are rules set by the NFL that don’t allow me to sell prints, I hope one day to find a way to make the image available to the public, but right now I can only make the image available to publications, I can not sell a print or high resolution download. I’ve probably received over 300 request for the image, but at this time my hands are tied.
I saw recently that the New Orleans Saints fan website SaintsReport.com had a thread with fans trying to find the image, on the website’s Fan Forum I ask those fans to please respect the fact that I can not make the image available to the public and to please not try to attempt to enlarge the existing images available into computer wall papers, if and when I am ever able to make the image available you will be able to find it right on my website, but I must adhere to the rules set by the league for distribution of images.
It’s been kind of surreal, I discovered someone had managed to put the photo with a border and had distributed copies, I was told by a friend somebody was selling copies, which of course I did not like, considering I took the photo and can not do anything with it.
I’ve ran across the photo printed on standard paper placed in bars, homes and I even saw the photo in a hospital on the nurses station door. It is amazing that the photo is loved by so many, it is one of my all time favorite images, check that it is my favorite image in my career thus far. I am exploring all avenues possible to make the image available to the fans that desperately want a copy, all I can say is stay tuned, and thank you for your interest in my photography.
You can continue to follow my coverage of the Saints and other events, as I regularly update my blog, I love hearing your thoughts so please feel free to share the blog entries if you want or send me a message, contact information can be found on my website.
You must be logged in to post a comment.