2017 was another year of change. The San Diego Chargers relocated to Los Angeles and with the move, their camera policy was changed to effectively eliminate all forms of photography except for those by camera phone. And as a consequence, my ability to photography the Charger Girls, something I had done since 1999, was at a end. I would no longer be able to photograph these lovely ladies as I had done so in the past.
Even as this experience came to a disappointing end, another opportunity arose and I was able to photograph the 2017 Los Angeles Charger Girls auditions. I was fortunate to get many wonderful shots of the many candidates trying out for the squad.
So let’s take a look back at my top 10 favorite photographs from last year.
10. Los Angeles Charger Girl Audition Hopeful
The online publication that I shoot for, UltimateCheerleaders.com, has been covering the Charger Girls auditions for several years now, but last year was the first time that I was able cover the event in person. Do to the relocation of the franchise to Los Angeles, this year’s auditions attracted many well qualified dancers from throughout Southern California. I recognized girls from Charger Girls squads of the past. I recognized girls from other professional dance teams, such as the Laker Girls, Clippers Spirit and the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders. And I recognized girls from local college dance teams, like the UCLA Dance Team on which whose basketball court, the auditions were held.
It was a wonderful event to cover and there were many, many beautiful girls to shoot. And the image below is just one of many wonderful images that I got on that day. I just love the body position of this audition hopeful and the expression on her face that makes this a memorable image from that event.
9. Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader Audition Hopeful
I love going to the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders auditions. I’ve been doing that for almost 10 years now and every year, I get some amazing photographs of some amazing cheerleader candidates. And this past year was no exception.
In fact, this was the best year ever, in terms of attracting the most beautiful and talented dancers. And this year, one girl stood out for her good looks, colorful audition outfit and her fresh faced innocence. Usually, when a girl auditions for an NFL team, it is common for her to wear some version of the team colors, but there was this one girl who wore a rather striking blue outfit that made her really stand out…and she was drop dead gorgeous to boot!
So this next photo is one of my favorite photos of the year because it is not your typical pose that you will see here and the color really left me with a lasting impression. Yes, its a rather curious image, but I like it.
Well she didn’t make the squad and as luck would have it, I saw her again at the Charger Girls tryouts later a few weeks later…this time she wore black and she still stood out.
8. Los Angeles Charger Girl Audition Hopeful
This year was my first time covering the Charger Girls auditions. It was a long and grueling day of shooting, but I got a lot of wonderful photographs from this event. And what made this special was that there were a lot of amazing girls that tried out, over 300 by my estimate. Pretty much all of them were beautiful and most of them were photogenic. So it was an amazing experience.
This next photo goes to show you, that the best photos are often times the simplest…a pretty girl with a beautiful smile and a simple pose. This was one of the first photos I took that day, right before the warm up period began. And it is one of my favorite photos that I took that day…just a pretty girl with a beautiful smile.
7. Charlotte Honey Bee Laura at the 2017 PRO Convention in Atlanta
I am a truly blessed. Blessed in that I get to photograph some of the most beautiful women in the world…women who happen to be professional cheerleaders. And this year, I can say with certainly that the most beautiful cheerleader in all professional sports is Laura Little of the Charlotte Honey Bees. Not only is she gorgeous, but she’s extremely photogenic as well.
There were many beautiful cheerleaders at the 2017 PRO Convention in Atlanta…there always is. But this year was special because I was able to gets some posed photos of this striking beauty and it was a blessing because she really knows how to pose and position her body aesthetically. It was all good.
Here’s a bonus image of Laura…I really couldn’t decide which I liked more for this article, so I included both.
And I think we just might see her again…perhaps while learning a dance or two.
6. Returning Veteran Darby at the 2017 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Auditions
The following is another one of my favorite images that was taken at the 2017 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Auditions. When you spend two days, six hours a day covering their auditions, you get a lot of opportunities to get something good and Darby, whom I’ve photographed for a few years now, happens to be one of the most photogenic Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders. She is an All American beauty and the type of girl that is a natural for the sidelines at an NFL game.
5. Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Haley Sowers at the 2017 PRO Convention in Atlanta
The Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders are one of my favorite cheerleading squads to photograph at PRO. They have some of the most gorgeous girls in professional cheerleading and they have some of the sexiest uniforms in the NFL…unfortunately they’ve only worn their game day uniforms once at PRO. But on the bright side, their workout wear is not too shabby to at all…but, I digress.
Well the following photo is of TTC Haley Sowers, who is quite beautiful and photogenic. Her smile says it all and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she would give me one of the top 10 photos of 2017 because she is a former Miss Mississippi USA and she’s special. Beauty queen and cheerleader, quite a nice combination.
And here’s another image of Haley…doesn’t she look angelic here?
Apparently, Haley only lives in states with double letters…e.g. Mississippi and Tennessee. Now that’s a shame since I live in C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A.
4. Returning veteran Rebecca at the 2017 Los Angeles Charger Girls Auditions
One of my favorite events to cover this past year was the 2017 Charger Girls auditions. I have been a Chargers season ticket holder since 1999 and I have been going to Charger games since 1995. I guess you can say I have been a fan of the Charger Girls for well over 20 years. So when I learned that I was going to be able to shoot their auditions, I was overjoyed at the rare opportunity.
I had seen the photos from my former colleague Sasha at UltimateCheerleaders.com, who had covered their auditions in the past and I could tell that this was going to be a challenge due to the sheer number of girls that show up at this annual event. And this year was no exception. There must have been well over 300 girls who tried out and each round of judging (there were two this day) took nearly two hours to view all the candidates.
It was a grueling day of work and my shoulders, back and feet were aching, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself because I got some amazing images from the event…many amazing images. And the following image is one of my favorites because it is of one of my all time favorite Charger Girls, Rebecca, and because it captures beautifully the imagery of the day.
Rebecca…yes, she’s special.
3. Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Kayla at the 2017 PRO Convention in Atlanta
One of the most photogenic cheerleaders that I photographed over the years at the PRO Convention is Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader Kayla. Some girls really are not all that in touch with their bodies and do not now how to aesthetically position themselves for maximum visual impact, but not Kayla. She’s very experienced and very good at posing, as you can see here.
And she photographs very well while dancing, which not all cheerleaders do.
Every year that she’s been to PRO, I have gotten some very striking images of her and this year was no exception.
2. Charlotte Honey Bee Laura at the 2017 PRO Convention in Atlanta
Have I convinced you yet…that Charlotte Honey Bee Laura is the most beautiful cheerleader in professional sports? She is and that its not surprising that she would come from the Charlotte Honey Bees. I have said many times over that the Charlotte Honey Bees are the hottest dance team in professional sports…bar none. And its been that way for several years. Why is that? I think it is because their director, Brandii McCoy, demands only the best from her girls and her attention to the details makes the Honey Bees stand out similarly to the way that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders stand out.
Well getting back to Laura, I think she’s absolutely gorgeous, but more importantly, she’s extremely photogenic. I can’t emphasize that enough and something like a snapshot of her with simple smile on her face can become such a special image…that’s that type of photogenic quality that makes her stand out in a ballroom packed with beautiful cheerleaders.
And the big hair doesn’t hurt either…she got my vote for best hair at the convention…and good hair is a must for a cheerleader.
And here’s a bonus pic of Laura.
1. Houston Texans Cheerleader Paige at the 2017 PRO Convention in Atlanta
The Houston Texans Cheerleaders brought a large contingent of cheerleaders to PRO and they were an impressive group. Every one of them was a looker. Every one of them looked great in the uniform…and the brought a variety of outfits including their game day uniforms. And they all knew how to dance “big”.
Our top photo of 2017 is a nice image of Houston Texans Cheerleader Paige killing it at the showcase at the end of a long day of dance instruction. Big hair, pretty facial expression, and a pose that evokes a more complex dance movement…all the elements of a memorable photo.