Frequently Asked Questions Pt 1

Yes, things have slowed down.  Yes, it is because we are lazy jerks.  But it’s always on anyway, right?  This is more our random journey through life in MMA.  Meh. We have a tumblr waiting in the wings to keep us more active. Really been digging Fightlinker’s.

I figured I’d fill in the gaps by answering some questions we are often asked. Keep in mind, I don’t think I’m anyone you should look to for advice on how to work. I honestly don’t know how it all worked out except putting in a lot of hours. I don’t consider myself an expert, at all.

How did you guys get into MMA?
Okay, so I started out with a question I can’t really answer. It’s a long story but it’s easiest to admit we’re not lifelong fans.  We did not see UFC 1 on VHS. Or UFC 2 for that matter.  Both Casey and I come from a production background, mainly in documentary, and before MMA we did a variety of film and TV projects that ranged from cooking shows to toy commercials.  We fell into MMA by accident and one day we’ll explain the whole shebang. If I do it now, there won’t be room for other questions.

Did you go to school for this?
Photography? No. Similar disciplines, though. I studied documentary production and directing. I shot production stills for friends’ shoots for several years before considering it something I could do for a living. Casey made videos all the time while living in Texas and worked on productions out there. Moved out to California seven years ago and just continued to make stuff.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I shoot fights on Canon SLRs, I have a Canon 1DmkIV, a 5DmkII, and an EOS Elan. My main lenses are my trusty 24-70 F2.8L and 70-200 F.28L though I also have a manual 50mm 1.4 and a 17-40 F4 (that I never use).  Ooh, and now a 15mm fisheye thanks to a great friend who I still owe.  I sometimes shoot on 35mm point and shoots Ricoh GR-1, Konica Big Mini.  I have a variety of other antique cameras and random things that don’t work or work sparingly.  But as for what I use for work?  Canon.  Why not Nikon?  No reason except that my first SLR was a Canon. I’ve had that EOS Elan since 1992 and once you have a few lenses, it seems impractical to change.  I’m not a Canon or Nikon person.

Casey shoots video on a Panasonic HPX-170.  A decent Manfrotto tripod with fluid head.  Sometimes we are fortunate enough to borrow lights.  We have a homemade steadicam that kind of works. Sometimes we shoot video on my 5D.

How do I get to shoot fights?
My best advice is to ask a sports editor for a paper or news site back you at a local fight (after at least building something similar to a portfolio – I’m assuming that you’re a photographer already).  I started at smaller events all over California.  And practice.  Just shoot a lot.  I just started by going to a fight at a local gym.

Are you related to Jeremy Lin of the Knicks?
We do all look alike. You all should know by now that Casey is never serious.


Um… Okay. I’m nursing a stomach flu, so I’ll leave this for now.

In Part 2, I’ll answer the questions from the comments… if there are any. Otherwise, I’ll make up some more stupid ones. Really, really stupid questions. Don’t listen to me, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

2012/02/09 | Filed under Random.

  • Prudence

     Awesome! I was going to ask you some of these on Twitter but didn’t want to bombard you. I can’t actually think of any others to ask now.

  • Pugilisticpotatopicker

    What your favourite project/event that you worked on and the fighter that you most enjoyed working with?

  • Scoozna

    What kinds of things can you share about being ringside that most of us will never experience?

  • Willis

    I was wondering what happened to you Esther. Well regardless, when ever you start that tumbler i’ll make sure I follow…not in a creepy stalking sort of way though so no worries :D

    Q: I noticed that alot of MMA photographers use the 70-200 F2.8L, is this your most used lense while shooting an actual fight.

    Ive been trying to get into MMA photography as well. Your one of my influences Esther. Thank you and take care.


  • Jim

    Are you freelance or are you employed by a particular website?

    What do you do when people steal your photos and don’t pay/credit you?

    With MMA becoming more popular are there more photographers ringside? Is it harder to find a good spot? Do you have a favorite spot?

  • Brandon

    What video editing software do you use?

  • Spawnedfighter

    waiting for a tumblr!

  • Kell Bailey

    To add to Esters advice about getting into shooting MMA fights. Sometimes you just need to email the promoter/organizer and ask. A lot of the small shows will happily say yes. Also if you have a website that covers local MMA events, email them and ask if they need another photographer. That’s what I did with and I’ve been able to have fun shooting a lot of local event.

  • MB

    What was the one shot you wished you could’ve gotten but missed? Either due to taking the picture just a second too late, or from being at the wrong place at the wrong time?

    I know every photographer has that one shot that haunts them for the rest of their life.

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