Photographer Knocked to the Ground After Running Onto Field Following Game-Winning Touchdown

Photographer Knocked to the Ground After Running Onto Field Following Game-Winning Touchdown

We’ve all been swept up in the moment when trying to grab the right shot. Unfortunately for a photographer who was covering the College Football National Championship on Monday night, that meant being knocked to the ground by 6′4″, 246-pound sophomore tight end Irv Smith Jr

The photographer was running across the end zone in an attempt to get as close to the action as possible, following the eruption of excitement of DeVonta Smith’s winning touchdown, when he crashed into Smith Jr. Watch the very moment below:

And the moment did not go unnoticed by Twitter users either, who took to the social media site to post clips of the incident, accompanied by comments like “RIP to that cameraman” and “I hope that cameraman got a good shot.” There’s no official word on any injuries sustained, but from the clip, it looks like the photographer lived to see another day. Let’s hope the same can be said for the camera!

Earlier at the same game, two other photographers escaped serious injury by mere seconds, just about managing to dodge a player who dove right into the photo area.

It looks like football is a full-contact sport for the players and the photographers. 

[via Huffington Post]

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Alex Cooke's picture

And like a true pro, instead of breaking his fall, he used his arms to cradle and protect his cameras.

Jozef Povazan's picture

Work hazard :) if you sit in touchdown zone you better be watching around :) and no he was not protecting his camera he got surprised and caught of guard :) just managed to stretch his right hand out to the muscle power running on him haha, for pro cameras and lenses impact like this is nothing, got hit be a full speed running dogsled team after start, one dog ended up in my 70-200 and I did flip backwards from impact... Nikon camera and lens no problems, I ended up in hospital with ripped bloody face haha... lesson learned !!!

Vincent Alongi's picture

Battle scars!

michael buehrle's picture

at least he was moving to get the is a pic of that catch, 6 photogs (because they had on vests) and only 1 guy had their camera up to take a pic. the other 5 were just watching the game. the 6th(guy actually working) was just to the right of the girl in red. this is the problem with everyone getting creds to be on the field.

Lane Shurtleff's picture

Sound like a butt-hurt sports photographer. All kidding aside, most of those photographers are there in teams, meaning they have a specific area to focus on. Some may be required to follow the running backs, while other have the long lens positioned to capture deep passes from across the field. A football field is over 52 yards WIDE, plus the yellow sideline hashmarks non-television crews must stay behind. That's a VERY wide area to cover. No single photographer will ever be able to catch just the single biggest play in a big game like that.

He was actually correct. I have never seen anything like it. More people taking videos with their iphones or just watching plays instead of shooting.

michael buehrle's picture

lane, that might be true about covering zones. but if you are in that corner then that is your corner to cover. i see a couple short lens in that pic and only 1 long one. that 70-200 is ideal for that shot. and yes these 5 photogs may have gotten crappy photos but they did not even try. that's the point that everyone is making. even if i have a 300 i'm still gonna try it. you may end up on a cover if it's epic. and i'm not butt-hurt, i was not there nor did i try to get creds for it. just watch any college or pro game and look at all the "lookers" on the sidelines. Stuart is spot on.

Lane Shurtleff's picture

Most so-called "newspaper photojournalists" don't care about "getting the perfect shot". They shoot barely enough to satisfy their editor. When I dealt with my editor 20+ years ago, I got that reply on a constant basis. Yes, these photographers are all LAZY, but a long 3 hour game is very draining to try and be on point for the entire time. Those that are, certainly get the best images that will probably never get used. Don't forget, many newspapers today just grab the pool images needed from Getty etc. those photographers are usually there for a specific athlete that they need to focus on.

Well, I am that photographer. Actually, I was also right next to the one who had to dive out of the way. No injuries and, more importantly, no cameras were harmed. I had the option of trying to brace against the hit but there was no avoiding it and I was far more worried about the cameras than me.

Stuart and everyone else who thinks his photo is more important than anyone else getting their photos,

Not cool dude, more like rude dude. Why are you running on the field? You blocked other photographers from getting a clean shot with your need to run on the field immediately after the play.

If you and everyone else stayed where you were, for maybe 30 seconds after the play, everyone could have had a chance at getting the celebration image. I worked in pro and college sports photography for decades and it's photographers like you that make me glad I do something else now.

Real pros in the sports photography world have a name for people like you, I won't print it but it starts with an a and ends with an e. If I was the media relations director you would never get in the national championship game again.

It's jerks like you and people watching the games from the sidelines instead of the stands where they should be and where you can actually see the game better than you can from field level, that make it hard for sports photographers to do what they are being paid to do.

I'm sure that running on the field didn't get you a great photo but only ruined the chances of many others to make a great image.I hope you read this and take it to heart the next time you are covering a game.

Dan Howell's picture

I have to agree. Once he stepped onto the field he lost all right to complain about getting hit. I would say that from the angle I watched, he was very early to enter the field. I don't do sports, but, have had work alongside people who seem to think the needs and goal superseded everyone else working the same event. I have heard that the real pros on the sidelines have a working respect for the event and each other. It seems like this guy broke that protocol.

Thanks Dan you are so right. He thinks it's his moment of fame when it should be his moment of shame. I think a public apology to all the shooters he blocked is what he should be writing instead of "Hey that was me I'm so cool."

Wow, I answer a simple question and you two decide to chime in with your opinions. Since I don;t know either of you and you don't shoot these events maybe you shouldn't comment. I followed the rules to the letter as I always do. We have a very stern lecture about when to go on the field and I followed that to a T. It was unfortunate that Irv and I were blocked from seeing each other and collided but that kind of thing happens. Of the dozens of shooters I spoke with after the game not a single one of them was upset at what I did. Most of them saw it on a video that went around afterwards and not through their viewfinder.

"30 seconds"...that may be the dumbest thing I have ever seen in my life.

"I don't do sports"...obviously.