Photographers favorites: Capturing the emotions of Flyers goaltenders

Flyers' Carter Hart
Flyers’ Carter Hart (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

This edition “Photographer’s Favorites,” is dedicated to the goalie position. My favorite part of capturing a goalie is the ability you have to be a little more creative with each shot. Goalies offer varying qualities that other skaters do not bring to the table. When it comes to gear, tendencies, and game presence, there is no player that is similar to the goaltender.

First, in warmups, the goaltender is typically moving slower than the other skaters; they’re usually gathering their focus for the game that lies ahead. Pre-game warmups are a good opportunity to capture a lot of detail. Each goalie has the freedom to design their mask as they wish; there is a lot of room for creativity throughout both leagues and plenty of masks worth capturing.

Second, as previously mentioned, your goalie subject will likely be spending a lot of time with a one-track mind or in heavy focus in both the warmup period and throughout the game. While deep focus can result in a lot of blank stares, it also allows you to capture the emotion behind the mask. This is a good time to work with the available lighting for the star or bokeh effect in your images.

Lastly, every goalie has certain things they do that will improve their game, keep them sharp, or meet their needs for superstition. We’ve all seen Carter Hart doing his pre-period leap off the ice or water toss between periods. Hart isn’t the only one, but his tendencies are much more obvious than that of other goalies. I like to capture these moments because I think they speak to the goalie as a person instead of as an athlete; they show personality and help to separate the player from others who play the same position.

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