Monday, February 3, 2014

BEHIND THE LENS: With Jeff Cable, Olympics Photographer

by tina case
We're mixing things up a little bit with our "Behind the Lens" Series.  I recently interviewed Jeff Cable, Olympic Photographer, who is a friend and mentor.  He and I live in the same small town in California so it's super nice to meet up with him at the local bagel or coffee shop and just bask in his extensive knowledge.  One question leads to another and I am always so inspired by his passion for photography.

By the way you can also learn from Jeff.   He has a wide number of tutorials and lectures online and he's one of the most sought after lecturers around the world.  Head on over and click here on this link at B&H Photo to find a list of his tutorials.  

Link to the full interview here, here's an excerpt from that interview:

An Interview with Jeff Cable, Olympics Photographer
What’s it like being an Olympics sports photographer?   I had the chance to interview Jeff Cable who has been photographing the Olympics since 2008 where he captured stunning images at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Since then he has been the official photographer for Team USA Hockey (Men and Women) in 2010 in Vancouver and the official photographer for Team USA Water Polo in 2012 at the Summer Olympics in London. Jeff is just days away from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where he will once again be the official photographer for Men and Women’s Team USA Hockey.

More Photos

How did you get your start as a professional photographer?
A friend asked me to shoot a bar mitzvah back in 2004. People really liked those photos and started asking me for my business card. So I went out and had some made and have been busy ever since. It just kind of snowballed from there and has created a life of its own.
Are you professional trained as a photographer?
I’ve always liked photography and had an eye for it, but I didn’t really understand it or know how to control the camera. So I read incessantly every photography magazine from cover to cover. I also have access to some of the best photographers in the world in my day job as marketing manager at Lexar. Lexar sponsors some of the top photographers in the world and I’ve been able to hang out with them and learn. Getting the chance to learn from them is better than any book or class. They have been tough on me but I encourage it and want it.
What did it take to become an Olympic Photographer?
Though my weekends were quickly filling up with bar and bat mitzvahs and weddings, I had the opportunity to take photos for the San Jose Sharks. Through a connection with a friend who is a trainer for the Sharks, I was introduced to several of the players and granted access to them and the arena. This is when my quest to be an Olympic photographer began. Definitely connections helped. I wasn’t fully credentialed (at the Beijing Olympics) but I was able to get day passes for some of the events through my job at Lexar. I worked the press center so I had access. I spent months trying to figure out who could get me credentialed. It was the connection with the Sharks that got me where I am. Their recommendation was key.

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