Louisville Slugger :: The End of an Era

Today marks the end of an era. After 130 years, Louisville Slugger passes the baton from the Hillerich & Bradsby family to Wilson Sporting Goods.  

While I only spent 3 years as part of the Slugger family, I wouldn't be who I am and where I am today without them. (Sorry, gonna get all sappy on you now.... )

While it was my husband who brought me to Louisville, it was Louisville Slugger that welcomed me and supported us as we started our life together as a married couple in Kentucky. 

It was Louisville Slugger that provided me with the experience to travel around the world to China, Indonesia, and The Dominican Republic. Without travel, I would still be out of touch with my childhood best friend.

It was Louisville Slugger that unleashed my creative side (masked by my love for math and science) and opened the door to photography. Without photography, there would be no

It was Louisville Slugger that supported my interest in attending a Sports Photography Workshop. Without opportunities, I could only dream of having an assignment with Sports Illustrated or NCAA March Madness

The list can go on and on... But what can't be forgotten, is with every end is a new beginning. When one door closes, another is opened. I am thrilled to explore my next chapter - and also witness the next chapter of one of the most iconic brands in America, Louisville Slugger. 

Here are a few photographs to enjoy while reminiscing of my memories and my photography work at Louisville Slugger.

NCAA Courtside March Madness

Today is one of those days that photography brings me to a difference place. And while I do not have a camera in hand, I am working beside some of the greatest sports photographers in the industry. Not too shabby.

Here, behind the scenes, at the KFC Yum! center I am a photo editor supporting photographer, Brett Wilhem on behalf of NCAA. 

In a nut shell Brett works his magic courtside and also roaming the stadium. Several times throughout the game he passes off this memory cards to me in the Photo Compound. I then ingest, cull (pick the keepers), add meta data tagging information, give some editing love to each image, export, and upload to the NCAA server. From there, NCAA makes a final selection and posts online and social media.

Check out the games I covered here --> NCAA Courtside

*** 2nd Round Games *** 

Iowa State Cyclones vs. University of Alabama Bringham Blazers (UAB)

SMU Mustangs vs. UCLA Bruins

University of Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Purdue University

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Hampton Pirates

*** Round of 32 ***


Kentucky vs. Cincinnati

All of this was made possible by the many great photographers that I meet while at the Summit Sports Photography Workshop & the Clarkson Creative team. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them seeing a little something in me, and trusting me along the way. (check out my sport photography and my blog post about my workshop experience with the links!)

And although there were many upsets this weekend, I will always bleed Cardinal & Gold. Go Cyclones!

Summit Sports Photography Workshop

When I first signed up for the Summit Sports Photography Workshop, there is no way I could have known how influential the experience would be for my growth as a photographer.   Ultimately, I was looking to get some hands on experience photographing sports. It was that simple. But after 6 days of learning from top photographers and editors in the industry (Including:  Brad Smith - Sports Illustrated Director of Photography; Chip Litherland - Sports Illustrated/ESPN/Wedding Creative; Deanne Fitzmaurice - Pulitzer Award Winner; Dave Black - Lighting Guru; and the great Rich Clarkson - the man who evolved Sport Photography to what we know it as today), I was equipped with tips, techniques, and experiences to help bring my photography to the next level.

For me, the next level meant being a better photographer than the day before. I walked away with much more than that.  Not only did my photography improve each day of the workshop, I also stumbled into better understanding my personal style of photography, photojournalism. I love documenting emotion the way it happens, while at the same time viewing and capturing the moment with a different point of view. Turns out, it's ok to see the world differently.

Photography aside, the people - faculity & students - are what really made the workshop top of it's kind. The genuine care and interest to help develop one another was energizing. From basic fundamentals for the novice, to complex concepts for the experienced, everyone was an equal peer and brought something unique to the workshop. After this week, I now have a network of photographers (and new friends!) who I can reach out to from all over the nation.  

On top of all of this, I also got the chance to introduce a story/connect Sports Illustrated with Louisville Slugger.  An unexpected treat! 

Then, on the last evening, just when the week was wrapping up and I didn't think it could get any better... I was presented with a great recognition, The Bill Eppridge Memorial Award.  An award defined by "Spirit of the Workshop".  With this honor, also comes an assignment with Sports Illustrated!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know what's in the next chapter of my photography journey quite yet, but I do know the challenge will include a lot of hard work.  I'm ready, so bring it on!

Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop
Summit Sports Photography Workshop

and finally, a behind the scene shot of me rocking' my gear on the Colorado Rockies field

Summit Sports Photography Workshop

(photo captured by Chip Litherland)

:: Summit Sports Photography Workshop :: Colorado Springs/Denver, Colorado ::

Josh Hamilton visits Slugger :: Louisville Lifestyle & Sport Photographer

Five-time MLB all-star and LA Angels big hitter, Josh Hamilton stopped in with us at Louisville Slugger on Friday. Lucky me, Slugger asked me to document his visit! I didn't have any of my gear with me, so I shot these with an entry level D-SLR. Just goes to show you can get great shots with any camera ... but I am still drooling over my new Canon 5D Mark II!

Josh started his day by making a surprise appearance with the local Louisville Warriors baseball team. This Louisville west-end team was thrilled to have the baseball legend share his story, inspiration, and especially his tips in the batting cage! Next up for Josh was a personal tour of the Louisville Slugger wood bat factory. Anyone that had the chance to spend a quick moment with Josh on his trip would feel humbled to have such an amazing man, husband, father, and baseball player as part of the Slugger family.

UPDATE // on behalf of Louisville Slugger, my photo of Josh Hamilton and his family has been published in Baseball America magazine! 

:: Louisville Slugger :: Louisville, Kentucky ::