Sunday was one of those incredible days of football where you find yourself going through the full range of emotions for 180 gut-wrenching, fist-clenching, heart-pounding minutes. From start to finish, snap after snap, whistle to whistle you are giving your full attention to the field because you have no idea how the game will end. That type of game makes for a fantastic experience. What elevates the experience for me as a photographer is getting to see the full range of electric expressions from quarterback Cam Newton.
A common sentiment I get from other photographers is, “It must be so fun to photograph Cam.” Truth be told, it is. In addition to being a phenomenal athlete, his ability to truly and fully revel in the moment is unlike any other player I have ever seen (even on other teams). Whether he is yelling after a third down conversion, signaling his famous first down gesture, throwing his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame into the air to body bump a player in the end zone, or flashing his seemingly endless thousand-watt smile, his presence commands attention and his actions demand a click of the shutter.
Not many teams go into Foxborough and come out victorious. The Panthers were one of the teams that left with a win and, as a result of the tremendous effort by the team, it made for some remarkable reactions from Cam.
After wide receiver Devin Funchess’ second touchdown, Newton came running down the sideline, his head fearlessly facing a sea of Patriots fans, and his tongue fully out in haughty celebration.
Personally, I loved it, as did a couple of local photographers near me who clicked away as he passed by and had huge smiles afterwards. That’s another thing about photographing Cam: It is almost impossible to remain unaffected when you witness so much genuine joy and passion for the game on the other end of your lens. It is a photographer’s dream and, lucky for me, my full-time job.