The Portland Timbers locked up the fourth seed in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win at Real Salt Lake earlier in the week making yesterday's MLS Decision Day a little less stressful for the players and their team photographer. The result would not change the standings, but the team always wants to win. I always want to make good photos. While there is a constant pressure to do our jobs to the best of our ability, a game like this allows me to have some freedom to roam around and do some different things. I think the same could be said for the team on the field. The players could just go out and do what they do best, play freely, have some fun, act like kids again. The end result: A 3-0 win over Austin FC and some good photos to go with it.
When I arrived at the stadium yesterday I saw that the Timbers Army was setting up for a tifo. I love tifos and I want to be able to capture them from every angle. In order to be in five places at once, I setup multiple cameras around the stadium that I could fire via remote control radio triggers from my position on the field.
This allows me to stay focused on the game and also be able to capture wide shots of the tifo, fans, sunsets and wide angle stadium photos from multiple angles at the same time.
The remote cameras also allow me to shoot crowd photos and goal celebration smoke while also capturing the team on the field.
After the Timbers went up 3-0, I knew that Austin would be pressing to try and get a couple goals back. So I went down to our defensive end to hopefully get a photo or two of Steve Clark making a save. It didn't take long for him to spring into action, breaking his old personal Timbers season save record with his 88th of the year. He also recorded a new person season best with the Timbers of seven clean sheets.
One of the best traditions in all of sports in the log slab ceremony at the end of the game. I also love how all the players' kids come running onto the field and join in the lifting of the logs. It makes great behind-the-scenes photos and, let's be honest, who doesn't love watching the little Chara babies run all over the field?
While I was running around chasing cute babies and taking photos of players with their families, I almost forgot about the awarding of the Supporters Player of the Year by the Timbers Army. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Dairon Asprilla walking up to the capo stand and sprinted over to make some photos of him receiving his well-deserved award.
The Timbers now turn their focus to Minnesota and getting back to MLS Cup, perhaps even hosting the game in Providence Park. I bet the kids would really enjoy that!