These are the dog days of cheerleader photography, at least for me. There’s not a lot to photograph between the end of basketball season and the start of the NFL football season. I might get a gig or two from James, my editor at UltimateCheerleaders.com, to cover an audition, but mostly it’s just me scrounging up an appearance or two. There’s just not a lot to cover these days out here in sunny Southern California. So, I decided to cull my extensive archives and come up with a list of my all time favorite Charger Girls to photograph.
Now before I get into too much trouble here, I just want to state that I pretty much enjoy shooting each and every Charger Girl. But there are those few that stand out and make for a memorable photograph. Over the next few days, I will begin to unveil my top 10 favorite Charger Girls to photograph.
Okay, here we go!
No. 10 – Lindsay Oswalt
No. 9 – Jennifer
Jennifer exuded this rare sex kitten appeal and she was one of the most photogenic Charger Girls I’ve ever photographed. If there was one word used to describe her, it would be “alluring”. Unfortunately, she was a Charger Girl for only the 2008 season.
No. 8 – Jacquelyn
If you are going to build the perfect Charger Girl, you would start with a girl like Jacquelyn. Tall, leggy, and blonde, she is the epitome of an NFL Cheerleader. And she has these beautiful blue eyes that captivate your attention. Oh yeah, she’s really nice too! From the first game she graced the sidelines, this former USC Song Girl became one of my favorite Charger Girls to photograph. Pretty much each and every game, I get a killer shot like the one above.
No. 7 – Casie Kimball
Casie has that All-American style and photogenic good looks that has made her a perennial crowd favorite. She’s a great dancer and has this attractiveness that demands your attention when she performs. Like many of the other Charger Girls who made this list, Casie has this special quality that caught my eye from the first day she stepped onto the field. In this photo from her rookie season, I think you can see what I mean. She’s a keeper.
No. 6 – Danielle Ditonto
Danielle had the most wonderful smile when she performed for the crowd and she was a pleasure to photograph. To me, she really seemed to enjoy dancing and it showed in her performances. My only regret is that Danielle never got to wear a uniform that would do her honor. The above version of the venerable Charger Girl uniform is perhaps the least attractive in their history. Although the uniform was unremarkable, Danielle was not.
No. 5 – Marlina Moreno
Your typical NFL cheerleader is…shall we say…sexy. And Marlina is no exception. She’s all that and more. But aside from her hot, spicy look, she really is very beautiful in a girl next door sort of way as well. She’s very photogenic, either as that sexy NFL cheerleader or something more demure. In this photograph, taken during the 2007 playoffs, Marlina looks absolutely beautiful while getting rained on. It was cold that day, but Marlina was hot, hot, hot.
No. 4 – Heather Greene
In 2007, I was viewing the San Diego Union Tribune’s photo coverage of the Charger Girl auditions to check out the potential girls that will make the squad. There were many attractive girls, but there was this one, a blonde wearing a fuchsia and black top that caught my attention. She was absolutely gorgeous and I hoped beyond hope this girl would make the squad because I knew she was special and I wanted to photograph her.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that girl was Heather and she did make the squad.
Needless to say, Templeton, California’s most famous citizen has become one of my all time favorite Charger Girls to photograph. Heather is absolutely gorgeous and what I like the most about her is that she always has this beautiful smile on her face when she dances. Beautiful and sexy, she is a joy to photograph.
No. 3 – Kylette Jaramillo
From the first day I saw Kylette, I knew she was special. I don’t think there is another girl who enjoyed being a Charger Girl more than Kylette and it showed in the photographs of her. And she has everything that I look for in a Charger Girl. She’s good looking, very good looking. She’s a great dancer. She has a great smile. And she has this wonderful personality that comes through when dancing and, more importantly, when photographed. Plus, she’s kind of flirty and when she was paired with another similarly playful Charger Girl named Breann, they were like Heckle and Jeckle on the sidelines. (They both literally begged me to take their photograph and I obliged) This all makes for a wonderful photograph.
Coincidentally, Kylette was on one of the most noteworthy Charger Girl lines in memory. In 2008, Kylette was a member of a line that included two current/future line captains (Summer and Marisa) and four 2008 Charger Girls of the Day (Breann, Kylette, Nicole L. and Summer). Each and everyone on that line was great to photograph.
My favorite photograph of Kylette is from her third game of her rookie season. She’s doing a high kick. In the photograph, she is peeking around her leg. Obviously, she sees me shooting her and she has this wonderful smile on her face. It’s just a beautiful shot of her. And yes, she looks beautiful and graceful doing a high kick. And, no…I am not posting that photo here.
Unfortunately, Kylette retired at the end of the 2008 season and during her two years on the squad, I was not able to photograph her as much as I would have liked because she was on the end of her line both years. From my vantage point, the end of the lines are hard to shoot, too many obstructions. I wish I had more opportunities to shoot Kylette because she’s so amazing…maybe she’ll come out of retirement one last time. We can always hope.
No. 2 – Ashley Ware
Ashley Ware is my all time favorite Charger Girl. She will always have a special place in my heart because she and her mother were the reason why I became involved in covering the Charger Girls for UltimateCheerleaders.com. Not only is she a beautiful young woman, she is a beautiful person and I am so thankful I was able to photograph her as a Charger Girl.
Like many of the girls on this list, Ashley had this beautiful smile and she looked gorgeous while dancing, shushing the crowd or just standing on the sidelines. Some girls stand out because they are pretty. Some girls stand out because they are beautiful dancers. Some girls stand out because they have that special quality that just attracts you. Ashley had it all. Plus, she had these killer abs and 40 inch longs legs…yes, I admit to being a leg man. Okay, I don’t really know how long her legs are, but you get the point.
What I remember most about her was that she was pretty, beautiful and sexy all at the same time. A rare quality, indeed. And that’s why she’s my all time favorite Charger Girl, but my most favorite Charger Girl to photograph is still to come.
No. 1 – Summer Alvarez
I have enjoyed photographing many Charger Girls over the years and it has been difficult choosing my top 10 favorite to photograph. But there’s one girl that stands out for the number of memorable photos taken over the years. And that girl is Summer.
Summer has this attractiveness that goes beyond her good looks, great dancing ability, and charisma. Her beautiful blue eyes, dark hair and alluring smile always made for an interesting photograph. But what I remember most about her is that she always conveyed a special quality, a little bit of her personality, in every photograph.
I never took a bad photo of Summer and in my best images, you can see the connection between photographer and subject. There are some people born to shoot and there are some people born to pose. But it takes both to make a memorable photograph and with Summer, I took many memorable images.
For the number of quantity and quality of memorable images, Summer is my favorite Charger Girl to photograph.