Jamie is the director over at NCAA Photos, we had a chat with Jamie about who he is and what he does, here's that 5 minutes with Jamie Schwaberow.
Who are you, what do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I’m Jamie Schwaberow, the Director of NCAA Photos. I’ve been running NCAA Photos, the official photography partner of the NCAA, since 2001. Our founder, Rich Clarkson, created NCAA Photos in 1994.
When you started out in the field you’re in, how did you get your first “break” / was there a defining moment you just knew “This is what I want to do!”
I did an internship in 1996 in which I got to work at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions as well as the Olympics. I thought I wanted to be a sports reporter, but at those events I ended up assisting a lot of amazing photographers which really motivated me to change my career path.
When people like me ask you that question “What’s your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken” which one do you think of first?
This may be sad, given it was so long ago, but I’d have to say my favorite is an underwater photo I took when I was an intern at the Columbus Dispatch which ended up being published in Sports Illustrated and won quite a few awards. It was my first time having a photo published in a major magazine, which was a huge thrill. (below)
Do you have a photographic inspiration?
I wouldn’t say I have one specific inspiration, but like a lot of other sports photographers, I always looked up to the staff of Sports Illustrated photographers such as Damian Strohmeyer, Al Tielemans, Simon Bruty, John McDonough… I could list a ton more, but those are a couple of the guys who were producing incredible work while I was starting out in photography and who I truly inspired to be like.
What gear do you mostly use and what bags do you use mainly?
Through the years I’ve shot Canon and Nikon. In 2020, we switched back to Canon and have really been enjoying not only their gear, but our relationship with their staff. As for bags, pouches, rain gear, I’m a huge fan of ThinkTank gear. I’ve been using different versions of the Airport Security roller for as long as I can remember, which I’m sure has gone a long ways in saving my back health! Additionally, I’ve used some of the modular gear and a bunch of the cable management bags.
(Interested in getting your own? email me for a discount code! (click: I'd like a discount code please! ) -Simon)
Any advice for someone wanting to do what you do?
Seek any opportunity that you can to volunteer/intern/learn from others. Your knowledge and possibly more importantly your connections will grow the more you put yourself out there and try to get involved. I learned this when I was starting out and it has been invaluable to my career.
Make sure you follow Jamie and the team on social, links below.