The icemen cometh

It’s mid-September and for many that means the long wait for the start of a new hockey season is nearly at an end. It’s still a month or so before the NHL season begins but the team’s are starting to get ready. Most teams are focusing on their young prospects at this time of year.
However, on this particular Wednesday I’ve been sent to the Saddledome to grab some images of one of the Calgary Flames’ more familiar, and likable, veterans, Craig Conroy. Time is a little short though.

The orders are to get ‘moody’ photos for a feature story to run later in the week. No hockey jersey or other equipment required. This is a break from the usual Flames assignment as images are often taken from game play, media scrums and team training sessions.

At first I’m unsure where to take the photos, as the Flames’ locker room and the Saddledome’s ice are off limits today. Herald sports writer John Down, a member of the Flames’ communications dept. and myself quickly brainstorm ideas, none of which appeal right away. Eventually the door/security man suggests the ‘wife’s change room’ around the corner. It’ll do just fine.

After testing the light by setting up a strobe in a couple spots, Herald Flames writer Vicki Hall pops her head through the door and asks if I’m ok to shoot a quick photo of recent Flames acquisition Alex Tanguay after Conroy. It’s no problem, as long as she reciprocates the favour by becoming a model and letting me take a test frame to see how the lighting is for Craig’s photos. She obliges.

Eventually Conroy is guided to the room and I introduce myself. It’s a testament to his easy going, affable, humble nature that his response is a,”Hi, I’m Craig,” as if his identity was ever in question. Take some pictures and change location within the room a couple times.

He asks if he should try for something a little more serious. I jokingly suggest that nobody would believe that he’s ever serious. He chuckles and agrees. He’s free to show the famous grin while we allow the light to express a ‘mood’.

Tell him ‘that’s it,’ and wish him well in the upcoming season.

Head up into the stands and grab a couple no nonsense images of Alex to go along with a ‘Tanguay back at the dome’ type story.

Head out to the next assignment. All told it takes about 20 minutes.

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