Photographing Notre Dame Football

Photographing in Notre Dame Stadium

Growing up a Catholic boy just West of the campus of Notre Dame I was naturally a huge fan. I watched the games every week, and then 25 years ago my father took me to my first game. Yesterday I photographed the Fighting Irish game against Navy for the Notre Dame Athletic Communications department. I don’t like the term bucket list. To me after you complete the list then you are supposed to die. If I had such a thing I guess it would be called a punch list. Anyone who has been given a punch list knows that it is something that is always added to. I have a couple of items that are at the top of that list. One of them is to photograph the White Sox in person from the camera well, and the other was to photograph the Irish in Notre Dame Stadium. I was able to cross one of those items off of my list yesterday. Standing on the field I thought about all of the greats that played there. A lot of childhood memories were of people making a name for themselves on that field. As I watched the team warm up I realized that I really don’t know many of the players anymore. I spend most of my time watching my alma mater Purdue play. Purdue is now my team, but it was great to be on the field anyway. For some reason I never got a call to play for the Irish after high school. I guess that this was the next best thing.

As far as for actually shooting at the stadium it was not very easy. It was funny that just a couple of years ago I was thrilled to be on the sidelines of a St. Joseph’s Puma football game. Shooting at Notre Dame was much different than that. To start you have many more photographers than I am used to seeing on the sidelines. You also have far more fans that are allowed onto the field. That translates into far less room to move around to make a photo. You have to find a position that is not taken, and make your photos from there. I actually sat in one spot from the second quarter on to save my position. That meant that I would not see Notre Dame coming my way for the third quarter, but it paid off with one of my favorite photos in the fourth quarter. Once you have fought the crowd and the other photographers for a spot to shoot you just have to realize that you are shooting a game of football. This is the exact same game that I photographed Friday night. The speed is a much faster, but the game is exactly the same played on a field with the same dimensions.

Notre Dame vs Navy Photo Gallery

Below are a few images that I liked from the game. I also created an Exposure page for the game here.


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