Victory Shots!

Name a sporting event, and Getty Images photographer Jamie Squire has probably covered it: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, golf's major championships, and yes, the World Series.



SALVADOR PEREZ, NO. 13 OF THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS, DOUSES KENDRYS MORALES, NO. 25, WITH A BUCKET OF WATER AFTER THE ROYALS DEFEATED THE DETROIT TIGERS 15-7 AT KAUFFMAN STADIUM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   If you were one of the 800,000 people who crammed the streets of downtown Kansas City for the Royals' World Series parade and rally, what was the common thread in casual conversations and in social media? "We couldn't see a thing."

   By contrast, it was Jamie Squire's job to see everything.

   As a sports photographer for Getty Images, one of the best-known agencies for supplying pictures to magazines and newspapers, Squire's work is seen around the world in print and online. In 2015, his list of assignments was a cornucopia of big-ticket items in sports, mega-events like Super Bowl XLIX, the Masters, the Welterweight bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the Indianapolis 500, the PGA Championship and the Royals' run to the World Series. He was also inside the ropes for the Royals parade in what he described as "a crazy, epic feeling."

     "I knew I had to tell the story of the parade, and the story involved the players," he says. "I walked the parade route and photographed them as it started. Then I wanted to get up to Liberty Memorial, because I could see the sea of people. That, to me, was more of the story — the city and the people celebrating the Royals as much as it was about the players."

   When he isn't traveling, Squire values his time at his Leawood home with his wife, Mindi, and his two children, Samantha (9) and Drew (6), who participate in sports themselves. He talked us through the excitement of photographing the Royals and the stylistic choices he favors.

London 2012 Olympic Games Men's Road Race Road Cycling

CYclists ride down the mall past buckingham palace during the men's road race cycling on day 1 of the london 2012 olympic games on july 28, 2012.

 

435: You've been photographing Royals games for years, back when they couldn't make the playoffs. How awesome was it to see them win a World Series and to be around this group of players?

Jamie Squire: I moved here in 2006, so this isn't my hometown. My wife's from here, so it's kind of my adopted hometown. You always want to see them do well because the fans come out of the woodwork, and they really support the team. Back then there were times where I would go to a game in the middle of the season in August or July or something, it would be 100 degrees before a night game and maybe 5,000 people in the stands. It was so quiet, it felt like you were alone in the stadium.

 

Jamie Squire with Tiger Woods

Tiger woods and Jamie squire

 

   Last season was the season that everyone seemed to fall in love with this team. This season, it almost felt as if this season wouldn't be complete unless they won it all. I don't think anybody really expected them not to. I really think people expected them to win it all, because they came so close last year. At the beginning of the season, they were winning a lot, and they seemed to be having the same amount of fun they had last year. It's almost like nobody told them that last year had ended, because it was practically the same team. They lost Billy Butler and [Nori] Aoki and [James] Shields, but it was still the same core team.

   I think I was the only guy rooting for them to lose in Game 5 because I wanted to see them come back here and win it all here. Because if they did, I would be in the locker room getting to enjoy it and be a part of it.

 

Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

 

435: Even though you weren't at Game 5 in New York, what's it like to be in the middle of a Champagne celebration while you're trying to shoot?

Squire: I think the first time I ever went in a locker room of any kind, I was unprepared. I got completely wet, cameras got screwed up. Champagne dries and sticks, and it's awful. So I go in there with full rain gear: wetsuit, goggles, hood up, covers on my cameras, and it's great to be a part of it — when you don't have to worry about equipment. It's a great atmosphere. You almost wish you could grab a bottle of something and join in, but you're there to capture it.

 

435: Which one of your photos do you think really encapsulates the Royals' season, or are there too many to mention?

Squire: Some of the Gatorade baths at the end. It was fun because you knew that if they won, we'd always get to figure out who the player of the game is and keep an eye on Salvy [Perez] and see what he was going to do. And then, try to figure out which direction he was going to come from. And it was always a challenge, because I always felt like I was in the wrong spot.

There was a picture toward the end of Salvy dousing Johnny Cueto in the championship series, so I got a really good picture of that one. That kind of summed it up.

There was also a picture from the locker room where [Mike] Moustakas is dousing [Eric] Hosmer with a bottle of Champagne, and Hosmer's kind of turned away from Moustakas with his eyes closed looking right at the camera. And it's with a wide-angle lens, so you feel like you're right there.

Jordan Spieth BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club

Jordan Spieth at BMW Championship at Conway farms golf Club

 

435: Who or what got you into photography in the first place?

Squire: I think my dad always wanted to be a photographer and then got the "get some responsibility or get out" speech, and so he became a CPA. But he always took pictures when we were younger, and he got me my first camera. And then in college, I worked for the school newspaper, and I figured out that you could get in the front row of the concerts that came through town, or you could get on the sidelines for the sporting events. That was thrilling. Everybody's trying to get concert tickets, and I'm in the front row. But not only that, I have something to show for it. At that time, it was film, and I could go in the dark room and develop it, and it was instant gratification.

Then, I was fortunate. I went to school at Emory in Atlanta and graduated the year before the [1996] Olympics. So I was in the right place at the right time, and I managed to meet some people with a company called Allsport, which was a sports picture agency that was bought by Getty Images.

 

435: What is the particular photography style that you try to have?

Squire: Life is dynamic. I want to try to show that in my pictures. You saw a little bit of blur in that picture of Hosmer getting doused with Champagne. Photography in itself is a moment captured in time, but there are tricks you can do, some techniques like slower shutter speed that imply movement. The style I like is to show some dynamic quality. I also strive to show time and place in my pictures. It's really easy to be a sports photographer and go out there with a really long telephoto lens and get tight action shots of football players or baseball players, but to show maybe a smaller player within the context of the event that's happening, or the action in front of the city, my style is to show a time and a place where I try — and it doesn't happen in every picture — but to try to tell the story of what's happening in the picture.

Jamari Traylor, No. 31 of the Kansas Jayhawks, shoots over Darius Carter, No. 12 of the Wichita State Shockers, during the third-round game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center.

 

435: I'm a huge golf fan, so I'm really jealous that you were able to work at half of the majors, the Masters and the PGA Championship. And at two of the most photogenic places in golf, Augusta National and Whistling Straits. How incredible is Augusta in person from a sports fan's perspective and from a photographer's perspective?

Squire: It's more beautiful than it is on TV. What they say about it is true: It's like a bucket-list thing. The greens are perfectly manicured. It really is something to see. At most PGA events, they allow the photographers inside the ropes to be able to maneuver and to get a good picture and not be blocked by fans. At the Masters, they don't allow photographers inside the ropes. So sometimes we're dealing with crowds that are 10-deep. I'm not a tall guy, so it's a little bit more difficult for me. So I have to plan my shots. I'm fortunate that I've done the Masters about 10 times, so I can play the course in my head. And the week before the Masters, I simultaneously love it and hate it because I know how much work is involved and I know how exhausted I am at the end of the week. But at the same time, it's Augusta. It's hard to describe in an original way. It's a throwback in time. Beers are $1.50, and sandwiches are a dollar.

 

435: Two great winners for those tournaments: Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. How much did you get to capture them winning their majors?

Squire: Quite a bit. They were both dominant, so I got to see a lot of them. But sometimes, there are tournaments that I'll cover where I don't even set eyes on the leader or the winner until the final day. We all know how tournaments can finish: The winner could be in the clubhouse when the leader comes up and bogeys and screws up or something. It was cool to be around those guys because they were both first-time major winners. Spieth is incredible, he's young and he's got amazing poise. He's so personable. I did a tournament later in the year, the BMW Championship in Chicago, and Spieth sent pizza to the press room because he had a hole-in-one. That's just not done. Rickie Fowler's the same way: He had a hole-in-one and sent beers to the press room to thank the media. Those guys are classy, they're young, and they've got a reverence for the game.

   There was a point at Whistling Straits where I had to walk around this bunker, and it was out toward the fairway, and I didn't realize that I was walking in front of Jordan Spieth. I looked back and said, "Oh man, I'm sorry." And he goes, "You're fine. Don't worry about it." They're nice guys. Sometimes we keep them at arm's length, and we think these guys are great players, and they are, but they're also normal human beings. They're great.

 

Tuomo Ruutu of Finland scores against Dimitiri Patzold of Germany, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Tuomo Ruutu, No. 15 of Finland, scores a goal against Dimitri Patzold, No. 32 of Germany, during the men's ice hockey preliminary game during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

 

435: You've been able to work a few Summer and Winter Olympics. How huge of an undertaking is that for you professionally?

Squire: As a sports photographer, the Olympics is the ultimate event. There's no bigger sporting event out there. The Olympics is the peak of the mountain for the photographers as well as for the athletes. There's a lot involved. Getty sends a large team, since we're the official photographers for the International Olympic Committee. The Olympics lasts for about three weeks, and we usually go out about 10 days early to whatever city it is. And we get the lay of the land, we get over our jet lag, go sightseeing and spend the first 10 days looking at the venues.

Oftentimes we start at 6 a.m. for a 9 a.m. event, shoot the event at 9 a.m. and you're on to another event that starts at 1 p.m. So you go straight from your first event to your second event, and that might end at 5 or 6. Then you might have a third event at 8, and you shoot that third event, and that might go until 11 or midnight. We stay at a media village. There's usually a bar there, and we go back and everybody congregates around the bar and swaps stories about what you did all day. You have a few beers, and you go to bed at 2 a.m. And then you get up at 6 and do it again. It's not easy, but you get in a rhythm, and you're on adrenaline.

 

435: What advice do you have for those who'd like to do what you do, or just for aspiring photographers in general?

Squire: The best part about photography in general is that you're always learning something. You never go backwards. You're always going to add to your knowledge. The more you shoot, the better you're going to get. My stage is the world. I cover the biggest events in the world. But you can make an incredible image of a youth soccer game at the Overland Park soccer fields if you wanted to, or peewee football or high school sports. I would tell people trying to get into the industry that it doesn't have to be the Super Bowl. It doesn't have to be the World Series.

   To see more of Squire’s works visit squirephoto.com.