Flashback Friday – Charger Girl Katie

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The Charger Girls used to dress up for Halloween…that is games that were scheduled near the holiday, but more recently they have not done so. And I could honestly say that the Charger Girls used to wear the sexiest Halloween costumes in the NFL. Autumn weather in the 80’s and hot looking California girls and you get the idea.

In this Flashback Friday post, we feature one of my favorite Charger Girls…Katie. She was a former Laker Girl who became a Charger Girl Line Captain and was a crowd favorite. Her impersonation of Marilyn Monroe for Halloween 2009 still remains one of the most memorable images from those Halloween games. And for those people who want a look a Katie in her classic Charger Girl uniforms….here you go. More Charger Girl goodness from the past.

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Battle For Los Angeles – The 2017 Los Angeles Rams Cheerleaders

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.

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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.

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Flashback Friday – Charger Girl Andrea

I’m still jonesing over the new realities at StubHub Center, so I thought it would be a good idea to share a photo from the good ol’ days in San Diego…when the shooting was good!  Here’s a nice photo of Charger Girl Andrea S. from the 2012 season.

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Greetings From StubHub Center!

Well, I just came back from my first game at the Chargers’ new home, the StubHub Center and I can confirm their new camera policy…so I got no photos with my DSLR (because I couldn’t bring one in) and to worsen things, my iPhone died on me.  Apparently, I accidentally sketched something while texting and turned off the phone with the app still active and it drained my battery.

For me, it was a strange feeling, sitting there watching the game.  I was fidgeting with my hands all game long, not knowing what to do with them.  You see, for 17 years and more, I always had a camera in my hands and it felt strange with them having nothing to do…talk about muscle memory.  And not being able to take photos of my beloved Charger Girls…strange feelings indeed.

But I do have some observations:

  • Charger games will no longer seem like home games for the opposing team.  There were plenty of Charger fans filling the stadium, unlike last year at Qualcomm.
  • The StubHub Center has great sight lines and is a more intimate environment to watch a game.
  • The food offerings are much better at StubHub Center, but there is no Oggi’s Pizza, which has been my standard meal at Charger games in Qualcomm Stadium.
  • The Chargers cannot win with out Philip Rivers quarterbacking the team and, unsurprisingly, Cardale Jones is not ready to quarterback an NFL team.

And perhaps most saliently…

  • The Charger Girls are still the hottest dance team in the NFL!!!

I can confirm for our readers that this year’s Captains are: Khaleesi…uh…Rebecca, Lauryn, Roxi, and Jenny.  I don’t have any current photos of them, but here are some from year’s past.

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Yes…that photo is from 2008 and Jenny has returned to the Charger Girls after a long hiatus and a stint as a Laker Girl.  And she looks better than ever…here’s a pic from this year’s Charger Girl auditions.

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Flashback Friday – Charger Girl Rebecca

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So it’s a new day with respect to the Chargers.  They’ve moved to Los Angeles and play their home games at the Stub Hub Center.  Now while that’s good for the Chargers…they did change their camera policy from last year.  No longer are DSLRs with interchangeable lenses allowed…and that is bad news for ticket holders like me who like to take photos of the Charger Girls.  It is simply no longer possible to get the kind of shots that I’ve gotten in the past…like the photo above of Rebecca, one of the most beautiful Charger Girls on this year’s squad.

So until the Chargers change their camera policy to what is was back in San Diego, this is it.  It was a great run while it lasted…from 1999 until 2017.

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Flashback Friday – A Las Vegas Gladiator Goddess Audition Hopeful

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In 2006, I was vacationing in Las Vegas and it came to my attention that the Las Vegas Gladiator Goddesses were holding auditions on Fremont Street.  Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to drop on by and I explained to the team Director that I was in town and just happened to see an advert for the auditions.  I told her that I would like to cover the event for UltimateCheerleaders.com and I was granted access to photograph the festivities, up close and personal.  And this is one of the more memorable images I captured during the festivities.

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2017 P-R-O Convention All Star: Houston Texans Cheerleader Lauren C.

We have come to the end of our coverage of the 2017 P-R-O Convention in Atlanta and its been a wild ride with over 250 professional cheerleaders and dancers to photograph.  Of that total, we were fortunate to shoot over 30 girls for this All Star featurette.  It is somehow appropriate that we close our coverage with a Houston Texans Cheerleader.  They showed up in force and were very accommodating to UltimateCheerleaders.com in our efforts to cover the event.  My thanks to Director Alto Gary and her wonderful squad of cheerleaders.

So without further ado…introducing our final 2017 P-R-O Convention All Star…Houston Texans Cheerleader Lauren C.

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As you all should know by now, the Houston Texans Cheerleaders are the queens of all social media and if you would like to follow Lauren on twitter, click here: @HTC_LaurenCh.

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