Opening Day in Syracuse

It’s Opening Day for the Syracuse Mets - previously the Syracuse Chiefs - and on this #ThrowbackThursday, I want to share a photo story on Rafael Bautista that I photographed two years ago, as well as some of my favorite images from the 2017 season.

During my junior year at Syracuse University, I knew I wanted to work on a baseball story, but in Syracuse, we don’t have a Major League Baseball club. I started brainstorming story ideas and thought it would be interesting to document one of the players who was projected to be called up during the season.

I did some research before Opening Day and found that Dominican centerfielder Rafael Bautista was one of the top prospects expected to play in the big leagues during the season.

I reached out to the Syracuse Chiefs and they were very accommodating in allowing me to talk to Rafael and giving me a season pass to photograph as many games as I possibly could.

Rafael was awesome and he had a great season with the Chiefs. One day, he called me and lets me know that he was about to go to the mall to buy a suit in case he got the call. I picked up my camera to document the moment. Seven days later, he makes his debut for the Washington Nationals.

Starting this year, the Syracuse Chiefs are the Syracuse Mets - the Triple-A affiliate to the New York Mets. The Triple-A team for the Nationals is now the Fresno Grizzlies, where Rafael hopes to play after he recovers from a season ending injury that he sustained last year.

My time photographing Rafael and the Chiefs is one of my fondest memories of my time in Syracuse. The organization is all class, and I am so appreciative of the opportunity they gave me. 

Most importantly, I will always be grateful because they helped me surprise my dad with the throwing of the first pitch during one of the games. It was a special day.

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Thinking Like a Visual Storyteller: Seeing Light

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Back in October at the Eddie Adams Workshop, Visual Journalist Tom Kennedy gave a presentation in which he said, “photography is writing with light.” Though I knew light was the most important element in photography - because without light, there is no photo - I had never thought about it so poetically.

In the last year, I’ve been documenting light any time it catches my attention. This has made me appreciate it much more while also learning new and interesting ways in which it interacts with objects and people. 

To do this, I’ve been using one of my favorite Instagram features - Stories - where I am able to quickly share snapshots of light when I see them. Doing this over a period of time has helped me build a mental archive, allowing me to control light in my professional work.

I was recently talking to a professor who told me that what he appreciates most about photography is that it taught him how to see light, and in-turn appreciate the world in a different way.

Even if you’re not a visual storyteller, I would challenge you to start paying close attention to light everywhere. The intensity, the color, the shape it creates, how it interacts with the world. There is gratification in understanding this small part of life.

Here is my current light journal, which you can also find on my Instagram page:

Back at it...!

For a while now, I've been wanting to update my blog with some of the work I've been doing. These are photos that I am doing for assignments or personal projects that I would like to constantly share. 

I'll start by posting the game I covered at Madison Square Garden that featured the Syracuse Orange vs St. John's.

You can find the whole shoot at The Newshouse: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenewshouse/albums/72157662210831402

Here are some of my favorite takes from the shoot: