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My View: Under the lights on Thursday night


CHARLOTTE — I knew this game was going to be a tough one because there was a lot we had to cover. It was not only cold and rainy, but it was also the first time the Panthers wore their new black helmet; it was also the annual Salute to Service game.

We used six photographers, including myself, to make sure we covered all of the needs of every department in the organization from digital content to marketing to community service to entertainment to partnership.

For games like this, I meet with multiple departments, including social media, to discuss what photos need to be turned around in real-time. Once we've established that, I work with each photographer to ensure they know what shots are needed ASAP.

Chanelle Smith-Walker

I oversee all the photographers and cover all game action and anything else with the team. Kenny Richmond, our second in-house photographer, is responsible for game action, team, and atmosphere. Other photographers we often use: James Nix for partnership, Krista Jasso for community relations, Lester Barnes for marketing, and Laura Wolff for entertainment.

We work together as a group to make sure each department's needs are met. Each department submits its own shot list, but some things change on the fly depending on the circumstances.

Even though every photographer has a different shot sheet, sometimes they also catch some game action. For the Laviska Shenault Jr. touchdown, we had three different angles of the run and score. I was on the opposite side of the field on the Panthers' sideline. Kenny was by the goal posts, and Lester was on the Falcons' sideline.

Laviska Shenault
Laviska Shenault
Laviska Shenault

I was in a prime location for D'Onta Foreman's third-quarter touchdown because it came straight toward me. I shot his score and celebration with the 70-200mm lens and followed him the entire way.

D'Onta Foreman
D'Onta Foreman

The defense was on fire this game, too. They had five sacks, the most in a game this year. I got blocked by a player on the sacks by Brian Burns and Marquis Haynes Sr., but I was able to get their celebrations.


Lastly, I always have two gameplans for post-game, depending on if the Panthers win or lose. Since they won, I went straight to the locker room to get the celebration and game ball presentation. Kenny, Krista, and Lester went in the scrum on the field to get interactions and jerseys swaps.


View the best photos from pregame, in-game, and post game after Thursday's win over the Atlanta Falcons.

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