Carl Albert High School football player David Oku poses for a photo at Frontier City where he works in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, July 16, 2008. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN
Photographing football is one of the things I really enjoy doing. Every summer when we start to work on our football preview section, I know that fall and a return to roaming the sidelines are not far away. This year I photographed the portraits for the covers of the three different sections in the preview, OU, OSU and high school football.
The theme of this year’s section was “Dirty Jobs.” For the college players we focused on what were the tough things that they do on the team. The high school profiles dealt with the jobs and hobbies of the athletes.
The first portrait I took was for the cover of the University of Oklahoma football section. OU offensive lineman Duke Robinson was the subject. Duke was nice enough to stand in the hot sun and pose with the pieces of sod I purchased to illustrate his dirty job of working in the trenches.
Here’s the photo of Duke that’s on the OU cover:
Below are some of the other photos from the shoot. Click on the thumbnails to see them larger.
OSU’s Zac Robinson is a quarterback who can run as well as throw. Because he’s a mobile quarterback, Robinson gets hit a lot. Despite the extra abuse he just gets up and keeps on going. He agreed to pose for us with some ice packs. Here’s the cover photo and below it are two alternate takes from the shoot.
For the high school cover I photographed David Oku of Carl Albert. Oku, one of the best running backs in the state, works at Frontier City trying to convince people to play the carnival games in his spare time. Below is the photo on the high school cover. The shot at the top of this entry, which was my favorite photo of the from these sections, was used on the inside. The only reason we didn’t use it on the cover was because we needed a vertical photo for the cover.
I was very happy with the way the shots turned out this year and think the sections look great. Thanks to Matt Strasen, Amy Rymer, Hayley Riggs and Phillip Baeza for assisting on the shoots. And special thanks to the athletes as well as the sports information departments at OU and OSU, along with Frontier City, for working with us.
Be sure to check out the football preview section when it publishes on August 24.
If you’d like to see all the photos that were in the section and more, check out this gallery: