NSPA Photojournalist of the Year Submission

Photographer for all photos–Tanner Coerr

First photo: I chose to submit this photo because of the unbridled energy in the face of Jihao Liu. The excitement that people like Liu generate is widespread across McLean, and I thought that there was no photo which better represented the Highlanders than this one, which was taken right before the start of the football game against Fairfax High. Holding the school flag proudly, this photo of Liu is one of my all-time favorite photos and a perfect demonstration of Highlander spirit.

Second photo: Raw emotion will always be the driving force behind the best photos, in my mind, and that is why I am using this photo of Ava Stewart, a member of McLean’s varsity girls basketball team. The physical nature of sports is my favorite aspect of watching sports games, and to capture it on display against the Westfield Bulldogs is exactly what I was looking to do as a photographer. Once again, the photo is symbolic of the spirit of McLean; even though the Highlanders lost the game in the photo, they never went down easily, always being physical and playing to the final whistle.

Third photo: This photo, although not heavy on the emotion that is shown in many other photos I have taken, is one of my personal favorites simply due to the composition of the photo. The way the Highlanders are lined up in the background while the focus is on the crisp pink-and-grey colorway of the defender makes this a great photo. I chose this because I believe it displays how sports as violent as football can still be beautiful if you look through the right lens.

Fourth photo: I have mentioned how important emotion is for photos of sporting events, and this photo is another example of that. While the obvious emotions in sports are the ones of fiery excitement, I believe tranquility and brotherhood are just as important as the ones that jump off of the paper more. Karageorgos and Ferris are extremely close as a result of their time as teammates, and this simple gesture fabulously demonstrates the unbreakable bond between athletes as a result of shared experiences in their sports.

Fifth photo: As the great Al Pacino said in Any Given Sunday, football is a game of inches, and no photo I have taken exhibits that fact better than this one. Even though there is already a horde of people in the action, Lingeman jumped into the pile without a second thought in the hopes of winning simply an inch or two. That type of effort is clearly displayed in the photo, which is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken.