Hockey Sports photography

Taking one for the team: photographing hockey

J. Ashley Nixon showing some facial damage after taking one for the team, filming hockey on the ice.
© Jennifer Nixon

You’re not close enough

As Robert Capa frequently used to say “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”  Capa’s front line was a perilous one, photographing with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, or with the Allies on the D-Day landings in France in 1944. His work led to his untimely death in 1954 when, covering the Indo-China war, he stepped on a landmine.

STIX on the ice

My own line of photography has much less of the risk that Capa was exposed to but it came, nevertheless, with some pain over the weekend while filming and photographing a hockey practice for Global Sport Academy Group.  Paying due homage to the motto of a founder of Magnum Photo, I was on my skates, getting in close to the action with the STIX Hockey Bantam Female Elite teams as they prepared for their Frozen Four competition and the Western Canada tournament in Kelowna, BC, in May.

Unfortunately, I stepped in the way of a puck flung up high and, by the feel of it, produced by a pretty good slap shot by player unknown (darn, I didn’t catch her number!) The missile struck me hard on the cheekbone close to my left eye. By good fortune, there was no ocular damage but the blow left me with a shiner to explain to my students the following day.

Wear a helmet!

As the Calgary Flames flew out to California to prepare for their Stanley Cup opener with the Anaheim Ducks, it made me look (feel?) like a hockey player.

Of course, I should have worn a helmet and that is the main takeaway from this story. But I made the choice not to as the visor was impairing my ability to focus the cameras. Maybe I should have cut a hole in the perspex, just like it’s done for the photographers at the NHL games?

For sports photos and more, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography

STIX Hockey Bantam Female Elite practicing at Crowfoot Twin Arenas, Calgary.
© J. Ashley Nixon


4 comments on “Taking one for the team: photographing hockey

  1. monkeyperu

    Yes, uses helmet!!


  2. Kathy Noonan

    OMG, Ashley!!!! Glad your eye wasn’t injured. … you dedicated soul!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: