Getty Images Sports Photographers have captured over 27,000 sporting events worlwide. In this series, some of our best known photographers and contributors recall the most iconic image they have captured so far...
“What’s the best picture you’ve ever taken?”
It’s definitely the question photographers get asked the most and it’s by far the toughest one to answer.
Does it have to be taken at a big global sport event? A crunching action picture? Or a lovely pretty picture taken as the sun sets?
It’s all too easy to get emotionally attached to your favourite images. You always prefer your more recent efforts as they are fresh in the mind.
Looking back at my work, the picture that sticks out as particularly iconic has a combination of being in exactly the right place at the crucial moment. It was taken at the biggest game of the 2011/12 Champions League Final.
Sometimes you can walk away from big football finals with nothing. Getty Images allocates each pitch side photographer with one corner so if Lady Luck is against you, (as she often is), all the pictures can be out of reach. There’s no worse feeling!
Chelsea were 1-0 down against Bayern Munich and getting literally (Thomas) Mullered!
In a rare attack late in the game they won a corner. Chelsea talisman Didier Drogba leapt up to meet the cross and scored a great header. He made a beeline for my corner, arms spread. His team were back level in the biggest game of their careers
MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 19: Didier Drogba of Chelsea celebrates with team mates after scoring his team’s first goal during UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at the Fussball Arena München on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
My Uncle, Dave Jones was the reason I wanted to be a sport photographer. He’d spent years working for the Press Association and I always remembered one piece of advice he’d given.
“Always have a wide angle by your feet, one day you’ll need it”. Players rarely get close for long enough when celebrating but I’d always stuck with it.
This time Drogba came to a halt right in front of me, I fumbled for the camera and pulled it up just in time for David Luiz to leap onto Drogba’s back. They were so close, they only just fit into the frame on a 24mm.
The low angle adds to the drama. Drogba can’t contain himself, his team mates are going mad, the stadium and floodlights as a backdrop put it all in context.
Drogba went on to score the winning penalty in the shoot-out, his last goal for Chelsea, making this picture all the more iconic.
Even I came away with some silverware - 2012 Getty Images Sport Picture of the Year. Not quite as grand as the Champions League, but no easier to win!
About Laurence Griffiths
Laurence Griffiths is a multi-award winning photographer and videographer with over twenty years experience in the industry. In 2010, he won both the SJA Sports Photographer of the Year and the Press Photographers Sports Folio of the Year. In 2011 he had his first book published ‘From the Boundary's Edge’, a celebration of village cricket which was nominated for the best Sports Book at the British Book Awards.
Laurence has covered Cricket Tours to India, Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa and Australia and FIFA World Cup football in the USA, France, Japan, Germany and South Africa.
Laurence has also seen his work published in publications worldwide.
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