Sunday, August 1, 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES: A typical day for me at the Olympics

I have been in Tokyo for almost two weeks now, and I am both exhausted and exhilarated. I have photographed many different events and posted at least two blogs a day. It is a grueling schedule, but hey I am at the Olympics so there is no complaining. Honestly, other than shooting for USA Water Polo, everything I photograph is for my portfolio and to share here on the blog with all of you. I keep pushing myself to shoot more, strictly because I love what I do and I get excited about the photo opportunities that await me each day.

Many people have asked me if I sleep or what my typical day is like here in Tokyo. is my typical day:

8:00 I wake up and do a quick check of my email and answer social media comments

8:10 Get dressed (always shorts and short sleeved shirts with collars (otherwise the lanyard rubs my neck)

8:15 Go downstairs to breakfast (or what I call my early dinner with chicken, rice and miso soup)

8:20 Check the bus schedule to determine when I need to get out of the hotel

8:30 Pack up the camera gear, grab my credentials and vest and head out

8:35 Take the bus to the Main Transport Mall (MTM) and start writing the next blog post using the images from the day before (Tokyo time)

9:15 Transfer to the next bus which will take me to my venue (and keep writing or retouching images)

10:00 Arrive at the venue

10:15 Take photos for a couple of hours

12:30 Take a bus back to the Main Transport Mall (MTM) while downloading images on the bus

12:40 Transfer to the bus that will take me to the water polo venue

12:45 Register online for the events I want to shoot the next day

1:00 Drop off my Covid spit test

1:25 Grab some free food (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) from the press room at water polo (or if I am lucky and have time, I can get lunch from one of the few places we are allowed to eat in the MPC (typically pizza or a burger)

1:45 Head up to the pool deck to hold my spot for shooting the water polo game

2:00 Start of the game - shoot for the duration of the game

3:20 Finish shooting the game and run back down to the press room

3:25 Start downloading and retouching all the best images from the game (I typically have more than 2000 images to go through - I will blog that process soon)

4:15 Deliver at least 25 finished images to the team communications lead (using their portal)

4:30 Take all the best images from the game and upload to the blog

5:00 Leave the water polo venue and head back to the MTM (or take a cab to the next venue if I am cutting it close) - Continue writing the blog

5:45 Arrive at the Main Transport Mall (MTM)

6:00 Transfer to the next bus which will take me to the next venue - Continue writing the blog

7:00 Arrive at the next venue and determine the best shooting positions

7:30 Eat something at the venue (only cold food and very limited)

8:00 Start shooting the evening event

10:00 Pack everything up and head to the TM bus again and post a blog from the bus. If time, I will download images on the bus and go through them as well.

10:45 Arrive at the Main Transport Mall (MTM)

11:15 Transfer to the next bus which will take me to my hotel

12:00 Arrive at the hotel and recharge camera batteries

12:10 Post another blog

12:25 Finish going through the rest of the images from the day

12:45 Backup all the days images onto at least 2 SSDs and my Drobo back home

1:00 Do laundry in my bath tub and hang everything to dry (I only have quick dry clothes - shout out to 32 Degrees clothing for inexpensive and fast drying clothing)

1:10 Take a shower (because it is really hot here and I am a sweaty mess) and get to bed

And is rinse and repeat. 

The schedule does change slightly depending on what time the sporting events are happening, but the pace does not change.

And here is a photo of me writing this blog while on the press bus to the boxing venue. :)


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BKeenan said...

Holy Cow. What a day. Well done in capturing lifetime memories for these athletes. Enjoy seeing what the media actually sees. Thank you and be well

Anonymous said...

JEFF, you animal!!!. The post processing and image review must be tough. Shoot NADD events and the average day is about 2500 images...I feel your pain and also the pure excitement when you see the great ones you really wanted...come out as SUPERB keepers. Thanks for keeping us updated!

Anthony said...

Hi Jeff, Just to say I hugely appreciate your blogs from the Olympics! Thank you so much for all your hard work on this - informative, educational and entertaining in the best way. That is one heck of a schedule you have - and your photographs are always great. Keep safe, and I'll look forward to more coming :)

OnlyInCA said...

I'm one sweaty mess after reading what your day is like--LOL. Love the blog. Thanks for your direct view to the Olympics, and just as important, the nirvana of Canon's equipment room--I'm still dreaming about it!
C. Dalessio

Jo d'Alessio said...

Love the blogs. Thanks for posting them. GO USA

Jimmy Deraime said...

As said Jack Bauer "in Real Time". Thanks you so much for all the details you discribed in your blogs. Very interisting and usefull. I assume you are running for a medal too with this Time table. Think to take a deep breath to keep shape. See you at the next blog.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this great content! It's really interesting to follow your journey. All the best, W