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When NBA player LeBron James cut his head falling into a photographer during game four of the NBA Finals it was simply an accident and part of the game. However, no-one seemed concerned about the photographer. Even my first thought was " I really hope the photographer has a rubber lens cover over his lens."


You view it is an NBA rule that most still photographers must have rubber lens hoods on their lens to work with the sidelines. The rubber hoods are a security precaution to stop players from cutting themselves if they collide with a photographer's lens.


In James'case I don't think it would have made a difference since it appeared to me he hit the camera body, not the lens.


After James fell on the NBA cameraman, many fans and a couple of pro athletes tweeted that the cameraman should have moved. That's crazy. Where was he planning to go? There have been seats behind him that cost tens and thousands of dollars holding fans, a still photographer on his left side and the target on his right side.


During NBA games still photographers need to sit on the ground making use of their legs crossed in an exceedingly small space. Network and arena photographers need certainly to lay on a small stool with small wheels. Sitting on the floor because position during a whole game results in major leg cramps and paresthesias, nerves in the foot go wrong properly, causing an abnormal sensation.


In the 1990's the basketball fans'seats weren't as near to photographers since they are now. On many occasions I could roll from the way in order to avoid being hit or stepped on. That's false today when photographing some NBA, ACC or SEC basketball games.


Throughout a SEC Tournament game in Nashville, TN, LSU's Glenn "Big Baby" Davis fell on me and four other photographers. Fortunately no-one was seriously hurt. However, that was incorrect with my last ACC basketball game in 2013. During the overall game, the knee and foot of a Georgia Tech player hit me in the pinnacle as he attemptedto jump over me. His other foot caught the medial side of the camera which some how drove my thin camera strap under the fingernail of my trigger finger on my right hand. That triggered pain, a poor sprain and an infection.


As a photojournalist who has photographed countless professional and college events both nationally and internationally, it is a known risk among sports photographers that sooner or later, you may get hit by either an athlete, fan, animal, baseball, baseball bat, football, softball, mascot, race car, bowling ball, hockey puck, glass, bull feces, bird droppings, boxer's blood and spit, beer from a drunk fan, bitten by a snake or huge bug and my all time favorite, puke from a drunk NASCAR fan.


That will not include getting stepped on by an NBA and NCAA official, avoiding getting beat up by Philadelphia Eagle Fans, cussed out with a losing coach, cussed out by players, cussed out with a groupie when you won't give a player her number, cussed out by a preacher's wife since you didn't photograph her cheerleader daughter, receiving a two page letter explaining why your photo of a quarterback sack should have now been credited to his son and chasing a Yankee fan who grabbed certainly one of your cameras following the World Series.


In the event you are wondering, all of those things happen to me except chasing the Yankee fan. That happened to a Sports Illustrated photographer after the 1996 World Series in Yankee Stadium.


In terms of my stolen equipment, I never caught the photographer who stole my Nikon camera and lens throughout the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

https://www.aparatimages.com/


In 2006, I was knocked out by way of a line drive baseball while photographing the Atlanta Braves vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. It might have killed me if it have been a couple of inches higher on my neck. Within a few minutes to be hit, Atlanta Braves trainer Jeff Porter was at my side with ice and asking the most common questions he asks players that are hit in the head by a baseball.


So if your goal is to become a major league sports photographer, be sure you not just have a superb grasp of the photographic arts, but are also in excellent health and have great insurance.


So when a 6'8''LeBron James falls you, or a baseball puck comes whizzing at your mind, don't wear your heart in your sleeve. It's all section of a sports photographer's territory.


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