Archive for the 'Sports' Category

My First “Runner-versary”

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Warning: Long personal post that has really nothing to do with photography coming up. Bear with me. Today is a milestone day for me personally. It is my first runner-versary. A year ago I had never run for fun a day in my life. I couldn’t even run around the block without thinking I was going to die. Now that seems like forever ago. Since that first “run” I have run over 400 miles and have raced in a 5K, an 8K, a 10K, a Half of a Half Marathon and two Triathlons. it has been fun to look back on the last year and remember where I was, what I’ve become and where I still need to go.

I don’t know exactly how much I weighed a year or so ago. I never really stepped on the scale. Never really cared. Didn’t really think of myself as overweight at all. I’d eat like garbage. I’d finish working at 10 or 11pm and head to the Burger King drive thru for a couple of whoppers on my way home. I do remember one day I was playing the Wii with my kids. I stepped onto the Wii fit board and it told me in not so many words that I was too fat to use the game. I was going to break the fit board. The weight limit was 330. I was about 340-345 or so. I remember thinking holy crap, how did it come to this? At that point, I tried to start eating a little better and cutting out fast food. Almost immediately, I dropped down to 329 and could (barely) play the Wii with the kids again. My wife has always been a runner. I wanted to be able to run with her. I am around professional athletes nearly everyday. I see people running all over town and they always look like they are having a blast. I had shot some friends for a portfolio piece who are avid runners and their posts always made me want to run. I needed to lose weight. So, I thought I’d give running a shot.

I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app and set the Cinco De Mayo 5K in Portland as my goal. I am the kind of person that once I put my mind to something, I never can half ass it. I attack it full speed and this was no different. The app is setup so that it gives you cues on when to run and walk over the course of a 30 minute workout. Starting out with 30 seconds running, 2 minutes walking, and moving up to more running and less walking as it goes on. those first couple days I thought I would never be able to run a 5K. 3 miles are you kidding me?! Then, running for 30 seconds became easier…then running 90 seconds was easy, then 2 minutes and I’ll never forget the first time I ran for 8 minutes straight. 5 weeks later I could run for a mile, walk for a 1/4 mile, run for a mile, etc and finished that first 5K in 36:18. I was hooked. Running was fun and by the end of May I had dropped to 299lbs. Under 300 for the first time in a long time. I was feeling great.

For the next couple of months, I ran 3 or 4 miles a day and was loving it. Running was getting easier and easier. One day, when at the local high school track getting my miles in, I saw a group of people in the corner doing some crazy cross training with kettlebells and running, carrying each other across the football field, just going nuts. “Those people are insane” I thought. But yet, it looked fun too. I was a little scared to give it a try, it looked super intense after all, but I kept going to the track and seeing the lunatics and was intrigued. One day I saw my friend Mandy working out with them as well and she encouraged me to give this “Warrior Room” a shot. So I went to a workout with her on a Saturday morning and met Ashley and did the hardest workout I had ever done in my life. The half mile sprint in the middle of the hour and a half class was the easiest part for me. I was drenched in sweat and every muscle in my body hurt. I couldn’t walk the next day. But I LOVED it. I was hooked. I began to go to the Warrior Room so Ashley could yell at me and make me work harder a couple of times a week and loved the outdoor “boot camps” they had at the high school track. She’s a great coach, motivator, loves 90′s rap and is not afraid to drop an F bomb. She was/is the perfect trainer for me. I was officially addicted to exercise and was feeling good.

One of the best things about the last year has been the new connections and friends I have made from regularly running and working out. The Warrior Room people are the best people in the world. Everyone is caring, supportive, has great sense of humor and are generally just fun to be around. I am so glad that they are here in Milwaukie and cannot thank Ashley enough for all she has done to motivate me in the last year. More than she even knows I am sure. Even on days when I wasn’t working out with the class and just running laps on my own when they were there, she was motivating me to run faster and try harder without even saying a word as I would run by. There is never a day I go to the Warrior Room for a workout that I don’t leave feeling like I can do anything. Kettlebells rule. You should give it a try too.

Anyway, back to the last year. Around July, my good friend and fellow photographer Tiffany Brown in Vegas called and said that she was training for a triathlon in September in San Diego and I should too. No freaking way I thought. On one hand it sounded like it would be fun and on the other, it sounded like I might drown. But she kept calling me and txting me everyday. She recruited my brother to do it. “I will if you will” kind of thing. Then another one of our photographer friends, Sandy Huffaker in San Diego said that we all couldn’t do a race in his town without him, so, suddenly this triathlon had turned into a party. Ok fine, I’ll do it. Sandy, Kevin and I all signed up and we’d meet Tiffany in SoCal in September.

My daughter and I on day 3 of running, my wife and I before the first 5K and my brother and I after finishing my first triathlon

For the next 8 weeks, I would hit the triathlon training as hard as I could. Tiffany would send me a training calendar and I would do everything it said. I knew how to swim, but not how to swim for 500 meters without stopping. So I went to a couple of master’s swim classes and got some pointers from a coach and it was super helpful. I bought a bike and quickly found that riding the bike was now my favorite part of training. I loved being on the bike. I still enjoyed running too. Triathlon training quickly became my focus, took over my life and it was so fun. I am certain people grew tired of my Facebook posts about swimming biking and running everyday, but I didn’t care. While simply running 4 miles everyday could get boring, triathlon was something different everyday. Run on Monday, swim on Tuesday, Bike on Wednesday, rinse, repeat. Something different everyday. Then I’d do workouts with two disciplines, or all three at once. This was really, really fun. What I once thought was going to be impossible was suddenly becoming not too big of a deal and by the middle of September I could not wait to get to San Diego.

That first race is something I will never forget. The butterflies in my stomach, the mass of people, jumping into the ocean at 8am, the ride, the run, the whole thing seemed to go by so fast. I was super nervous. But once I put my head in the water, everything seemed to go quiet, and it was as if I was alone training by myself. I came out of the water faster than I ever had in training and was in and out of T1 in just a couple of minutes. The bike ride took us through a Navy base and I felt like it went way too fast. The final 5K run was beautiful, running along the boardwalk to the USS Midway and back, everyone motivating each other as we ran. It all seemed to go by way too quick. I didn’t want it to end. I finished in 1:30, 15 minutes faster than my goal. After the race, I found my wife in the mass of people at the finish line and gave her the biggest hug and not going to lie, I cried. I had accomplished something I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to do. I was hooked. I signed up for my second tri as soon as we got back to the hotel.

When I got back home, it was a great feeling having accomplished that first triathlon. It felt great when people where starting to mention how skinny I was looking. Timbers players where asking me how the race went and congratulating me for finishing. That made my day. I had finally found my “sport”…I am a triathlete. I cannot thank Tiffany enough for hounding me to sign up for that first race. If not for her, I would never have found the sport which I now love so much.

Me on the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC before I started running; me running in the Shamrock 8K and Jenn and I before my first 10K in October.

In October I ran my first 10K and another sprint triathlon. In November Jenn and I went to Vegas to run in the Half of a Half Marathon down the strip and in March I ran for the first time in the Shamrock run, finishing the 8K in 49:18. I am now down to about 269lbs and would love to drop another 25 or so, but weight is no longer my main focus. My 2014 goals include 10 triathlons, including my first Olympic Distance event in July in Vancouver, BC. My daughter Jordyn is going to do her first triathlon in May as well. Every run, every bike ride, every swim I am getting better and better and faster and faster. My life pretty much revolves around when I can get my training in for the day. I have found another great set of people and friends to work out with in the Portland Triathlon club and Jenn’s cousin Sarah is my partner in crazy, doing all the races with me as well. It feels great to look back and know that a year ago I could not run for 30 seconds and now I can run for over an hour no problem. I can swim for an hour, bike for an hour and run for an hour without even blinking an eye. It’s crazy what a difference a year makes. I’m in the best shape of my life and still have a ways to go. Never say never and there really is nothing you cannot do. I cannot wait for the next 12 months!

High School Team Posters

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

We’ve shot the team photos and designed the posters for Milwaukie and West Linn high schools over the past few years. Here are some recent ones.

Our 13 Favorite Timbers Photos of 2013

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

2013 was a fantastic year over here at Mitchelldyer Photography, Inc. Every year I say that, but this year was one of the best. We shot over 160,000 pictures for a huge variety of old and new clients. It is fun at the end of every year to look back and find our favorite images. These may or may not be our “best” from the year but they are favorites for one reason or another. Because we shoot such a huge variety of subjects, we are breaking down the “13 of 2013″ into 4 categories. Timbers photos, wedding photos, portrait photos and sports photos (non Timbers).

Enjoy this first installment…our 13 favorite Timbers photos of 2013.

Portraits are one of my favorite things to shoot, so I’ll start off with a portrait of midfielder Diego Valeri. Valeri burst onto the MLS scene this year, scoring in his first match and winning the leagues “Newcomer of the Year” award. We shot this photo during training camp for use on the game day program cover.

The second match of the year was a road match up in Seattle. I like this photo of Will Johnson trying to get back into the huddle after the coin flip. Little moments like this are what I am always on the lookout for.

Another image from the same match, head coach Caleb Porter holds up a Timbers Army scarf after the match, thanking the fans for traveling to the game to support the team. Nobody knew at the time that this Timbers season was going to be one to remember, well, except Caleb. He knew.

In what was perhaps the coolest event I have ever been a part of, 8 year old Atticus celebrates after scoring against the Timbers. The Make-a-Wish foundation came to the team and said Atticus wish was to get to play again with his teammates. His season was cut short after being diagnosed with cancer. His wish was to scrimmage the Timbers. And they went all out. in fact, 3,000 people came to the stadium. There was a national anthem and chants and it was just amazing. The Green Machine won the match on a goal by Atticus at the buzzer.

Goal celebrations are always my favorite. You never know what is going to happen. Here, Rodney Wallace carries a couple of teammates on his back after scoring in May.

Rodney again, this was fun celebration!

Freddie Piquionne scored 4 goals in one half. This was his celebration on goal #2. Not sure I’ll ever see one guy score 4 goals in a game again.

Happy goal scorers make for a happy photographer too. This one with Futty and Kalif was fantastic.

I am always trying to get a shot of the stadium when the sky looks cool. I go up in the stands for the precious 10-15 minutes of a sunset every time I see it. I always hope that the team will score when the sky looks cool and the smoke and flags will fly. On this day, all the stars aligned and I got my wish.

I shoot tons of photos of Timber Joey. Hard to choose just one favorite, but this one has the Cascadia flag, a fired up Joey and green smoke! What is not to love?

Back to Seattle for a playoff game in early November. Darlington Nagbe hushes the crowd after giving the Timbers the lead. They would go on to beat Seattle in the series and advance to the Western Conference Championship.

For the final game of the season, I wanted to get the fans, the field and the fireworks all in the same frame. So I setup a remote camera behind the Timbers Army and fired it from the position on the field during the pre game. Worked like a charm and is my favorite photo of the entire season. I am always trying to capture on film the atmosphere of a Timbers game and I think this picture does a good job of that.

And finally, one of the last photos I shot was from the final moments of the teams loss in the Western Conference Finals. Head coach Caleb Porter, the MLS Coach of the Year, watches as the Army lets off all the smoke they have. It was an amazing scene as the crowd actually got LOUDER after the loss. PT-FC Chants louder than I have ever heard. It was a very memorable season and I cannot what for the 2014 season to kick off.

Thanks for checking out our favorite Timbers images of 2013. Be sure to check back for the rest of the 13 of 2013 too!

Timbers in 30

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Last week I was on the weekly “Timbers in 30″ TV show showing my photos of the year from the 2013 regular season. Skip to the 12:30 mark to see my segment.

Clip: Alaska Airlines Magazine

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

If you fly on an Alaska Airlines flight this month you might see this in the seat back in front of you. They are featuring a photo I shot of Darlington Nagbe from a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this year on the cover of the September Issue.

Clip: Timbers Magazine

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Back in February, Timbers Communications VP Chris Metz and I were brain storming ideas for the match day program/team magazine. It is always fun trying to come up with something creative for 17 different issues throughout the year. Normally, we would decide who the cover person would be then shoot a portrait of them before the program went to press. Because of team travel and player schedules it was always a bit of a pain to get them scheduled when we needed. So this year, we decided to shoot everyone on the same day and then they could just plug and play the photos depending on who was going to be featured on for that particular issue. We also shoot a “cover photo” of new players when they come in for the same reason. After going back and forth on a few ideas Metz had the great idea to use the KISS solo album covers for our inspiration. Each of those photos is essentially the same, but given a slightly different treatment in post to make them unique as well. Turned out to be a great idea. So once training camp began, we shot all 30 players on the team. Andrew at Gutoski Creative took the photos of the players and a photo of some smoke from a match and put the final touches on the cover designs. He did a great job with the concept and final design. Every match day I look forward to see who is going to be that weeks cover boy. By the time the season is over there will be 17 or so different/yet same covers. Here are a few of my favorites thus far.

Milwaukie Baseball & Softball

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Recently we shot the baseball and softball photos for Milwaukie High School. Always fun to shoot for my alma mater’s teams.

Frederic Piquionne

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Game day was very exciting when Timbers forward Frederic Piquionne scored four goals in the first half.

Victory is sweet, and I’ll bet four log slabs is heavy!