My Favorite Soccer Photos Of 2022
We are at that time of the year when the best of posts can really begin. This one is actually long overdue. I think that I had too big of plans for my soccer. posts. I was going to do one for both Harrison and West Lafayette teams and then this bigger one. That was a lot of time to sink in though so I just kept putting it off. Here they all can shine together. This year for the first time in a while the majority of my soccer posts were from high school. I only photographed one complete game at Purdue, but a couple of Purdue images still make the countdown. Here are my favorite soccer photos from this past year.
I love the flat areas around the high school soccer fields. It allows you to get some cool photos during blue hour or sunset. Here early in the season I had a great blue hour backdrop.
A tradition every year now it seems like is the freshmen that pack Folk Field for the season opening game. Last year I made a bunch of wide angle photos showing the crowd and turned them in even though I was not photographing the game for the school. This year I went with one camera and one lens with the sunset in mind. I could afford to be a little more selfish thinking of a nice wide angle image.
This year it seems like I photographed more games in the rain than ever before. Some of that is the fact that two of these fields are very close to my house so when it is raining I pack up the gear and head out. The rain can make things a little harder, but they add something different to the photos.
When I was younger I mistakenly thought that soccer was not a contact sport. What I have learned over the years making photos of it is that there is contact all over the pitch. Once I understood the sport it made it much more enjoyable to make photos of it.
This year I went out to Folk Field on my birthday to have some fun. A few years back I made a photo on my 40th birthday that still hangs in the ticket office in Mackey. This year it was not as much fun as it was on the day that I was trying to recreate. That is usually how those things go. I had an usher that I reported the year before for putting his hands on me harassed me from the time I was at the gate throughout my day. I ended up only attending a short portion of a game the rest of the year. That is too bad. I enjoy making photos at Folk Field, but not with people going out of their way to make my day worse.
Part of the fun of this year was just playing with light. All of these high school teams have photographers that they pay to be there. Knowing that I can just go and have fun. You can go for broke knowing that you are just there for yourself. I talked about being a selfish photographer last year in these lists, and this year I tried to do that a little more. I ended up with photos like this where I was only exposed for the throw in. If a goal was scored I would be out of luck.
Here is another photo playing with the light at the West Side soccer fields. I am probably the only person at the stadium that likes the photo, but that is okay. Being a selfish photographer does not mean that you treat others differently, but just that you make more photos for yourself. I have had more fun this year than in years past for that reason.
Here is another selfish photo that I liked. Once again I was not worried about a goal being scored. I was focused on the light as the sun was going down. It is so fulfilling to be patient and wait for the photo to come to you like this one. This light only lasts for a very short time, but it is so great while it is there.
Here I am on the other side of the field with the sun at my back. A scoring flurry by the Harrison girls team led to some great celebrations just a few minutes apart. This is my favorite part of soccer. The post goal celebration. Things don’t always go your way to make the photo, but here it did.
West Side and Harrison always have battles when they meet. It doesn’t matter if on team is much better than the other they always are tight games that are very physical. Here you can see some of that fight from both sides as these two athletes battle to gain control of the ball.
I spent so much time at this game hoping for anything to come to my side as the sun was going down. The sky was beautiful, but the play just never came my way. When I saw the ball go out of bounds a little down the field from me this fat guy was up and moving to get over there.
On senior night for the Harrison girls team I was chasing light during the first half. This was my favorite photo from that time. Soccer is a hard sport to get in tight with the players with the ball present. Sometimes you just have to leave the ball out of things.
On my way to a fall softball game this fall I snuck a few minutes of Purdue soccer in. The play was really not on Purdue’s end very much so I sat on the Rutgers end of the field. I did not make many good photos that day, but I loved this header photo.
During this West Lafayette regional game we were treated to an amazing rainbow just as the halftime started. I would have killed to have this during play, but I spent most of the half trying to find a group of players that would let me show the entire rainbow as well. It was a cool night with some great light.
My soccer season ended on a very high note. I saw both West Side teams claim regional titles on back to back nights. Here West Side celebrates a goal in the second half of the game. It was a very fun game, and a great way to end my soccer year.
There are my favorite soccer photos of the year. I put these together every year as a way to look back on my work. This year is the first time in a while when I thought that I made better photos last year. Some of that comes down to opportunities. I photographed way more soccer last year. I was also at more big games it seemed like. The good news is that I will have a little chip on my shoulder when next season comes around. I hope that I can say that my list is much better next year.