Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Everyone is asking how I got the chance to photograph the Olympics...so...

I am sitting here in the Red Carpet Club at SFO waiting for my flight to Vancouver. I have no pictures to post this morning, but thought that I would answer some questions that I am getting asked on email. People are wondering what it is like to get ready for photographing the Olympics, so I thought I would give you all the scoop.

I started this process almost one year ago, with my first discussions with USA Hockey. After a month of talks, they gave me the "go ahead" and made me their primary photographer for the Olympic games. At the same time I was arranging for a condo downtown, so that I could be close to the Main Press Center (MPC).

Approximately 4 months later, and after many revisions of contracts, Team USA Hockey and I came to an agreement on image ownership, usage rights and blah blah blah... Then we had to get credentials from the US Olympic Committee. When I called them, they said that I had waited too long, that all credentials were sent out and that there was a waiting list of 68 people. As let down as I was, I did not give up hope. I contacted USA Hockey and they had the clout to fix that problem. Phew - that was a close one!

Then came the accreditation process with tons of different forms, security papers and the dreaded "no smile, no hats, no expression" photo.

A couple of months later (about a month ago) I got my official "paper accreditations" and I started my planning and packing process. As you may have seen from a previous post, I knew which cameras, lenses and computers I would bring with me, but I needed a way to get them all to Vancouver. So...I called my friends in the industry and they came through. New camera bags, graphics tablets, hard drives, cameras, lenses...Most of this was directly shipped to the condo in Vancouver.

As part of this planning, I downloaded the Olympic schedule and started mapping out my free time. I had to figure out which events I wanted to cover and their locations throughout the region. This took a couple of days and is still not locked down. Due to the unknown playoff schedule for hockey, the latter part of the games can not be scheduled at this point.

Then I had to deal with the "up credential" process. Even though I have the top credentials, certain events are impacted and require tickets. Opening ceremonies is one of those. So I had to apply for this and found out just yesterday that this was approved (thanks again to USA Hockey for pushing the USOC).

Now the big questions (which I have yet to figure out). How many laptops do I need and where will I place them? Should I have one at the MPC, one at the condo and one at the Hockey arena? Am I going to carry one with me all the time (and I really don't want to!)? What is the bus schedule and can I make it from one venue to the next in time? How much security will there be? If it does rain (and it will), can I still walk to some of the events with all my equipment? Will cabs be available? What are the best lenses to bring to each event? What are the best shooting positions? What clothes to wear to inside and outside venues? And so many more questions.

But hey - I gotta catch a flight! Stay tuned for more info - and pictures!

2 comments:

Frank said...

These are great insights Jeff. Keep 'em coming!

Greg Lynn said...

Wow. Well done Jeff!