Coveted Cover Shot

Most sports fans cheer on their favorite teams and athletes from their living room couches. Sometimes they tailgate and go to a game. If they’re lucky, they have season tickets ... and if they’re super-lucky, they get front row seats or entrance to a luxury suite.

Leawood resident Jamie Squire gets better than a front row seat. Or a luxury suite. And he knows how super-lucky he is to have the prime viewing he so often has.

He gets up-close and personal with some of the biggest names in sports.

Squire, a photojournalist for Getty Images whose photo of Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas graced the cover of People magazine following the London games, specializes in sports photography. He has been on the sidelines of some of the most awe-inspiring sporting events in the world.

“I’ve been to Super Bowls, golf and tennis championships, the World Cup and to eight Olympics,” says Squire. And those are just a few of the A-list sports events. His favorite? The Paralympics.

“The Paralympics is a huge emotional event,” says Squire. “The pictures are great, but the stories from the participants are even better. They have overcome so much to be there. It’s amazing.”

When Squire was scheduled to cover the London games this year, he went 10 days prior to the opening ceremonies to get acclimated, meet the other photographers and do a bit of sightseeing. Once the event started, Squire worked nonstop.

“The Olympics is definitely an endurance event for photographers. We are go, go, go all the time. Traveling around all the people and traffic to get to assignments is a challenge. The whole thing is a rush. Being able to watch athletes from Douglas to Phelps win gold medals, then being at the 100 meter finals when Bolt won … it was a huge adrenaline rush,” says Squire.

Squire works out of his Leawood home unless he gets a call from Getty. Then he’s off on assignment — often halfway around the world.

“It [the job] has taken me to virtually every continent,” he says. From motor race events in South America to the World Cup in South Africa, this man has been everywhere. His favorite place? Moscow.

“I went there to cover the World Junior Hockey Championships for ESPN magazine,” says Squire. “I know Moscow sounds bleak, but it was awesome.”

Getty Images, based in New York City, is a stock photo agency and a wire service that distributes photos to magazines and newspapers. People magazine hired Getty to get a photo from the London Olympics, and Getty chose Squire as the photographer for the job. He’s also had photos on the cover of Sports Illustrated and has been published in multiple major magazines. But he doesn’t let the press alter his ego.

“My wife is really excited about the People cover,” says Squire. “I tell her I’m not famous enough to be modest, so I’m pretty excited about it too.”

Although Squire says traveling is the fun part about his job, he is glad to be putting down roots in Leawood. His wife is from this area, but Squire has lived in New York, Washington D.C., L.A., Atlanta, among other cities.

“Leawood is a great place to raise a family,” says Squire. “It’s relaxing here. And there’s a lot of room to spread out. The cost of living is good, and the schools are good. It’s been great becoming a member of this community.”

photos courtesy: Jamie Squire