Los Angeles, Calif. When we go to a Major League stadium, there are people who we never notice that make our experience in the park something to remember. There are many hard working and very creative people who work to put this entertainment package together. Recently I spoke to one of these artists. She is Emma Sharon, a photographer for MLB, who works every game at Dodger Stadium.
When she was a kid it was Emma’s father’s old movie camera that got her curiosity with cameras started. Little did she know where that would bring her to today. Yet she told me that, “It wasn’t until I tore my ACL in my junior year of high school and needed something to occupy me during games, that I really got into it. I couldn’t just sit and watch.” She attended The University of Virginia and like lots of college students looking to earn some money, she landed a job as a sports photography intern with the athletic department. So the experience was building.
After graduating with a degree in sociology and then trying to find a job, she looked into becoming a photographer, somewhere. She found out that it is a rough business to break into. She eventually was hired by MLB and assigned to the Texas Rangers in 2020 and eventually with the Dodgers.
The ballpark is her canvas as she captures the day from the players working out four hours pre game to the actual action in a game. Pictures that will enhance the stories written by reporters every game. Without those pictures to emphasize a writers thoughts it would be just a ho-hum piece of paper with some words.
People will say to her, “Wow, you get to see every game!” She will tell them “Yes but I can’t watch the game the way a fan can. I can only look at one thing at a time and sometimes you just miss something.” During the game, she will move from the third base camera well between innings to the first base side a few times as she anticipates where a story can be developing. Like a no-hitter or the celebrations in either dugout when something big is about to happen. Lugging those big lens cameras along with her. Always looking for that shot that will capture the action on the field. Pictures that we will all see the next day in the sports columns we read.
Emma said that the pictures she loves to take the most are the debuts of young players. “Being able to capture the happiness of those moments is pretty special.” Moments that can only be captured once. Something that a young player will be able to treasure for life.
The pictures she and her colleagues take, bring the written stories together. As she can put you two feet from the action and give you an image that will remain in your head for a long time.
I sometimes use a lot of words in a story and having a great picture to hook readers into wanting to read my piece is extremely important. After all, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
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