This past weekend, the Los Angeles Chargers battled the Los Angeles Rams for the title, “best team in L.A.”. Okay, I made that one up. It was just another preseason game, but there was a significance here. Both teams are desperately trying to establish a strong fan base in their newly adopted city. Battle lines have been drawn and there are passionate fans for both teams…unfortunately, not a whole lot of them showed up at the Coliseum to cheer on their team. Frankly, it was a little disappointing considering this is a game with two teams residing in the second most populous city in the country. But it was a preseason game and few teams sell out their stadiums for preseason games.
One way to build a fan base is to have a cheerleading squad and to leverage that brand. I guess this is where UltimateCheerleaders.com comes in because we were fortunate to be granted media access to the Rams game against the visiting Chargers and no one covers cheerleaders like we do on game days. I guess its because other media outlets are more interested in covering game action. That’s understandable.
I eagerly anticipated this special occasion because anytime you get to photograph the Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders up close and personal, it is a special occasion. But when game day came around, I had one of the worst situations a photographer could experience…I broke my main shooting lens, my 70-300 L telephoto lens! I’m not exactly sure what happened, but shortly before player introductions, I noticed my telephoto zoom lens was locked at 220mm and the focus, both manual and autofocus, ceased to function. I “bricked” my telephoto zoom lens and I would have to shoot the Rams Cheerleaders with my 24-70 L wide angle zoom.
It’s not an ideal circumstance…to have to use a wide angle zoom, but it’s was the only option left for me. That meant I had to shoot rather close to the cheerleaders instead a bit farther away, which I prefer to do with my telephoto lens. Perhaps it was a bit too close…certainly for my tastes, but it is what it is and I was not going to let this misfortune stop me from getting the very best images I could get.
Shooting the Rams Cheerleaders that close wasn’t what I wanted to do…it was what I had to do.
And this is what I got for my troubles.
My thanks to Director Keely Fimbres-Bledsoe, the Rams Cheerleaders, and the Rams Media Relations staff for this wonderful experience.
Breaking my primary lens put a damper on what I wanted to accomplish, but we soldiered on and the following is a visual documentation of my game day experience. So let’s take a more in depth look at the 2017 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders.
After the national anthem, I made my way over to the south east corner of the field. The late afternoon sunlight that bathed that part of the stadium was the best option to photograph the Rams Cheerleaders.
The game started off badly for the home team as the visiting Chargers stormed out to a 21 point first quarter lead. I was able to snap two of the scores with my wide angle zoom, a 76-yard fumble recovery for a TD and a 2-yard TD run by Chargers Melvin Gordon. Of course, these are heavily cropped images.
Sigh! I wish I had my 70-300 L for these shots and more! Bad luck doth follow me ’round this day.
Here’s some more Rams Cheerleader action from the first quarter.
As “golden hour” arrived, low angle sunlight filled the stadium with yellow-orange hues then gave way to shadows as the quarter ended.
As the sunlight gave way to shadows, I increasingly turned to my flash as a source of lighting. Soon it would be evening and no one likes photos that are dark, underexposed and devoid of vibrant color.
Night descended upon the Coliseum and darkness engulfed the sidelines. The stadium lighting and my flash were the only sources of illumination and for the fourth time this day, the lighting conditions changed demonstrably.
The game tightened up in the fourth quarter and the Rams closed to within a field goal of victory, but alas…it was not to be. The Chargers took the victory, 21 – 19. But there was optimism for the home team’s fans. There is a new hope and a chance for the team to be special…in the future.
As for the Battle of Los Angeles’ NFL cheerleading teams…I think there’s room for both squads because both teams need them to build the excitement and help fill the seats.
Football is back in L.A.!