I just finished watching the Arkansas vs. Louisiana Monroe football game (yes watching, not covering). As I write this I must say that I am seriously unbiased... after all, I am a journalist. I'm an Arkansas graduate and will raise my son as a Razorback, but you won't see me calling the hogs. I just can't cover college sports and have a team.
That being said, I can't help but have a little bit of a connection to some of the players I photograph. Every year I spend a short amount of time with certain players to take portraits. In this short time, I have to figure out how to connect to these kids and try to get them past their tough football face. I like personality. I really like personality in my photographs. I really, really like when I can get a football player to smile... especially when he is trying not to.
One of the kids I photographed earlier this year was Tevin Mitchel, a corner back for the Arkansas Razorbacks. During the Louisiana Monroe vs. Arkansas upset, Mitchel suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit and had to be carted off the field.
I've been covering the Razorbacks since 2000 and I can only think of a handful of times that I've seen a cart come onto the field. Pair that with watching Mitchel not move, and this was a scary moment. As a mom, I couldn't help but have sympathy for his mom at that moment... and I couldn't help but be concerned for this player... that I had photographed and connected with. I am hoping that Mitchel will be ok and make a full recovery.