Lucky Shots Tennis Tournament

I’ve been the official photographer of the Volvo Car Open for about 15 years in a row! So it was with great sadness that I received the news that the tournament had been cancelled this year due to the Corona Virus outbreak.

Last weekend I decided to get my “tennis photography fix” by bringing a camera to a local tennis tournament that Cami was playing in. The St. Andrews Tennis Center was hosting their Lucky Shots Tennis Tournament, which they do every year around St. Patrick’s Day. Phil, the athletic director, always does a great job with the tournament. Players come from all over the state to compete. I appreciated him letting me come out and photograph it.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the players for coming out, sharing their enthusiasm, and having an amazing time in spite of the current situation in America!

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VCO Media Day

It’s been 20 years since the Volvo Car Open chose Charleston as its new home!!! It’s hard to believe I’ve been the tournament’s official photographer for about 3/4 of that time. What an honor it was to see many of my photos of past champions on display!

To celebrate this milestone, the VCO hosted a Media Day at the beautiful Dewberry Hotel rooftop. Last year’s champion, Madison Keys, was a special guest…as were Mayor Tecklenburg, Tournament Director Bob Moran, Tournament Manager Eleanor Adams, Stephanie Mangini of Volvo Car USA, Helen Hill from the Charleston Visitors Bureau, and Richard Todd who is “The Voice” of the tournament. The event was hosted by America’s sweetheart, former #1 tennis player, Tracy Austin.

After the press conference, tennis demonstration, and networking luncheon, Madison and Tracy got a private tour of the new Meeting Street Academy, where Maddy shared about her new Kindness Wins initiative.

“Madison Keys has a passion for kindness. The 25-year-old American tennis star has made that passion into a mission, launching her new Kindness Wins initiative, a chance for Keys to embrace positivity and provide a platform to spread encouragement both within and outside the world of sports.”

It was a real pleasure being selected to photograph the VCO Media Day! Happy 20th Anniversary to the Volvo Car Open!!!

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VCO 2019 – Iconic Photo Shoot

To kick of the start of the Volvo Car Open each year, the tournament has me photograph what they call the Iconic Photo Shoot. They select two players, who we take to an iconic Charleston landmark, where they pretend to play a little tennis. This year’s players were rising American star, Danielle Collins, and our 2017 champion from Latvia, Jelena Ostapenko.

Colorado

The Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Water Polo team has its sights set on a three-peat for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship in 2019.

The Sagehens are coming off of a historic season in which they repeated as SCIAC Champions and went a perfect 14-0 in conference play. The Sagehens went 22-11 overall and had impressive regular season wins over the Chinese national team and Brown before falling in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to UC Irvine.

Many of the experienced players from The Sagehens return from seasons past with a total of eight seniors to lead the team, including star goalie Morgan Stockham. This season, Morgan appeared in 29 games with an 18-8 record and 125 saves.

I had the distinct honor of photographing Morgan at the team’s training center in Claremont, CA. Many thanks to her amazing mother, Sarah, for inviting me on this shoot, and capturing the behind-the-scenes shots as I worked!

CrossFit Charleston

Last weekend I had an awesome invitation to photograph the popular CrossFit Charleston box in Mt. Pleasant. New owners, Holly and Clint, have done an INCREDIBLE job with the place!

The workouts are tough, but scalable to anyone’s level of fitness. They have every bit of technology and equipment one needs for peak performance. But the best part is the comradery among all the participants. Everyone was so encouraging of one another…helping to motivate each other…and partnering together for extra teamwork on certain exercises.

CONGRATULATIONS Holly & Clint! You are changing lives and making Mt. Pleasant a healthier place to live!!!

ABC of the Carolinas

It was out pleasure to welcome and photograph the Associated Builders & Contractors of the Carolinas in Charleston this week!

ABC of the Carolinas held their annual convention and marketing conference here under sunny skies and gorgeous weather. On the first day, my friend and amazing photographer, Gary Coleman, helped me cover the fishing tournament, Redfin Charters. Meanwhile, I covered the golf tournament at the Wild Dunes Harbor Course. On the second day, I photographed the conference, keynote speakers, and convention at the beautiful and picturesque Francis Marion Hotel.

Many thanks to Meredith for the kind referral, and to Pamela for all her hard work organizing the event. It was a pleasure serving this wonderful community of talented and hard-working men and women!

Volvo Car Open Banner

ONLY 20 DAYS TO GO!!!

The 2018 Volvo Car Open is coming up fast! I’m so excited that one of my images of Daria Kasatkina, last year’s Champion, made the stadium banner! Now when you’re commuting home on I-526 and look over at the stadium, you can think of me. 😉

The grounds crew is in full swing to get this year’s tournament up and operational. Tons of my images from years past are already hanging up around the tennis center. And some of the main tents are already in place!

I hope to see you all there March 31st – April 8th, cheering on your favorite player. Get your tickets now at www.volvocaropen.com.

The Australian Open

It was a true thrill to be able to photograph the action at the Australian Open this week! I’m not only a tennis and sports photographer, but also a longtime fan and avid player of the sport. This has been a “bucket list” item for me to check off the list!!!

Congratulations to all the athletes, coaches, volunteers, organizers, sponsors, ball kids, media, and everyone else who helped make this awesome event possible.

The Lawn Tennis Association of Australasia was formulated in 1904 in order for Australasia to be eligible to contest the Davis Cup competition and for Australia to host the region’s Championships. 1926 saw a name change to Lawn Tennis Association of Australia and Sir Norman Brookes became President for 29 years. It became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969.​​

Fast Facts:

  • The Australian Open was first played at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne in 1905 as The Australasian Championships
  • Since 1905, the Australian Open has been staged in five different cities: Melbourne (62 times), Sydney (17 times), Adelaide (14 times), Brisbane (8 times), Perth (three times), as well as in New Zealand (two times)
  • In 1972 Ko​oyong Lawn Tennis Club became the permanent home of the Australian Open due to Melbourne attracting the biggest patronage
  • In 1984, the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia became a company, and then in 1986 began to trade as Tennis Australia (TA)
  • TA is the governing body for the sport of tennis in Australia. The organisation exists to promote tennis and conduct domestic and international tournaments on behalf of Australia, including the Australian Open, Davis Cup and Federation Cup
  • TA and the Australian Open moved to its new, permanent home at Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park) in 1988
  • The tournament was not held between 1916 and 1918, or 1940 and 1945, due to international conflicts happening at the time

AO Women’s Doubles Final

Congratulations to Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic on capturing the Australian Open Women’s Doubles crown!!!

“Of course it’s an incredible feeling to share this moment together on court. We really enjoy playing together. We improved overall I think every single match,” said Babos.

The accomplishment is made even sweeter by the formidable team they beat in the finals. Makarova and Vesnina were shooting for their first Australian Open title which would have landed them a career Golden Slam, having previously won the French (2013), Wimbledon (2014), US (2017) and Olympic (2016) titles.

As the official photographer of the Volvo Car Open, it was a real honor for me to be credentialed for this match. Hopefully we’ll see these four ladies vying for the title in Charleston a few months from now!!!

Charleston Rugged Maniac

I’m always intrigued by the challenge, suffering, and ultimate triumph humans seek out in competitive sports. Being a sports photographer has its own set of challenges!

This spring I had the pleasure of covering the Charleston Rugged Maniac Challenge at Boone Hall Plantation with this AMAZING team of sports photographers. I’ve photographed this event for the last 4 or 5 years, and always enjoy the experience! It’s tough on the gear…keeping the mud and water off the equipment isn’t easy. And it’s tough on the photographers…I shot over 4,000 images in five hours of non-stop action.

A special shout out goes to Richard Ellis for capturing the image of me “at work”!  And thank you to the nice EMT staff for taking our team picture!

But being a part of the excitement these athletes experience is totally worth it!!! CONGRATULATIONS to all the participants for enduring and triumphing over this fabulous challenge!

Volvo Car Open 2017 – Day 9

Day 9 of the Volvo Car Open was an epic finish to a fantastic week of tennis!

Bethanie-Mattek Sands and Lucie Saffarova showed why they are such good friends, and why they are the #1 doubles team in the world!!! After clinching this, their second title in Charleston, defeating Katerina Siniakova and Lucie Hradecka, the dynamic duo shared an adult beverage before meeting up with me to photograph their Doubles Champions Photos.

Later, in the battle of the 19-year-olds, Daria Kasatkina prevailed over fellow youngster, Jelena Ostapenko, to claim her very first WTA tour title. Overwhelmed with raw emotion during her trophy presentation, she nearly had me in tears!!! What a special moment for this adorable young lady!  “I’m just enjoying it every moment, every second,” she said. “And really, when I was on the court after the last point, I just wanted the moment to stop because it was one of the best moments in my life.”

After a celebratory meal with her team, Daria met up with us in downtown Charleston for her Champions Photos.

Many thanks to all the amazing players, tournament staff, the WTA, all the volunteers, grounds crew, ball kids, umpires, line judges, marketing team, and my photography partner, Alice, for another AMAZING Volvo Car Open!!!

Volvo Car Open 2017 – Day 8

Day 8 of the Volvo Car Open left two VERY HUNGER teenagers standing!!! Not since Anna Ivanovic in 2001 has a teenager won this tournament. This year, it’s guaranteed that another teenager will take home the title! Both Daria Kastkina and Jelena Ostapenko are 19 years old. Both are rising stars. Both are seeking their first WTA Tour title!!!