It’s an honour just to be nominated (and all that stuff)

Allow me this moment of shameless self-promotion. The nominations for the 2009 Pictures of the Year were announced by the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) Thursday night. And in the Sports Action category there’s a photo of curler Glenn Howard celebrating a final rock victory at last year’s Brier, taken by yours truly.

This nominated image is indirectly linked to my days in photojournalism school at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Every year Frank Shufletoski, the second year photo instructor, requires the class to cover at least one curling match. It’s Frank’s belief that if you can get a dynamic shot from a curling rink, then you’ve probably got enough patience and ability to do well in this business.

Flashforward to the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier Canadian Curling Championship in Calgary, which I was covering for the Calgary Herald, last March. A seemingly meaningless early round match between Ontario and Saskatchewan is nearing it’s end. The team from the prairies appears to have complete control with a scattered house and no obvious angle for their opponents from the east to exploit.

However, Ontario skip Glenn Howard plays his final rock and incredibly hits a double and scores three to win by a score of 7-6. The shot of the tournament. He reacts as if he has won the championship.

It was the final match of the night and no other shooters were around. Those who had been there had determined that this wasn’t important enough to cover or that the result was a foregone conclusion. The major news wire services weren’t even covering the event full-time yet. The matches later on in the week would surely provide the better images anyway.

I almost left, but was in the honeymoon stages of a love affair of shooting the tournament. I’ve always appreciated watching the best of the best at any competition and was simply enjoying being on the Brier’s familiar blue carpet next to the game’s top stone throwers. Simply put, I just wanted to hang out.

I decided to stay and keep my lens on Howard until the end of the night. A fortunate decision, it turns out.

(click here to see video of shot)


As well as the other nominees I would also like to send a congratulations to fellow Calgary Herald shooter Leah Hennel who has earned a couple nominations. She always one ups me. It’s probably because you’re older than me Leah, by a few months anyway. 🙂

And really, it is an honour to be nominated. If you have a chance to look at last year’s winners and nominees you’ll understand why we allow ourselves a little pride in being nominated by NPAC, my second time. There’s some excellent work being done by Canadian photojournalists. And I’m proud to be considered one of them.


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