Don’t quite know how or why it happened but I missed telling you about a Doncaster Knights game a few weeks ago. It was their first fixture in a series of cup games and it was against Coventry. Newcomers to the Championship, Coventry have enjoyed a rapid rise up the leagues. The game also marked the return of a few former Knights heroes including Andrew and Junior Bulumakau, Jack Ram and Latu Makaafi (not playing on the day).
Played on a dark and dismal afternoon, complete with occasional showers, it was a close game which the Knights eventually won by the closest of margins, 20-19. You can read the Knights own take on the game here but as I recall Will Owen scored the home side’s first try (which I was nowhere near), Coventry drew almost level and the sides were locked together until Knights’ Ciaran Booth ran in what proved to be the winning try. This put them more than a single score ahead.
I remember this wasn’t especially near the end of the game as I had enough time to get a few shots on the 22 metre line and walk to the other end of the pitch before it finished. I almost captured a dramatic late Coventry try before they actually scored, causing a final few minutes of dramatic tension for home supporters.
Since then the Knights have had another victory at Nottingham before losing to Yorkshire Carnegie last Saturday. Carnegie are the opponents again tomorrow when we return to Castle Park in Doncaster, as do several Knights players who’ve been away on international duty.
Another player returning is former Knights hero Ollie Stedman. He was a stalwart during the 2015-16 season when I first began photographing the Knights’ home games. I recall that he made strong contributions during the play-off campaign despite already having announced that he was leaving the club at season’s end. This included the games against Yorkshire Carnegie, the club he was to join. A big welcome back to him.
I told you a couple of posts ago about some of my pictures being featured on the England Rugby website. Well, during the second half of the England women’s game against Canada I’d actually been commissioned to photograph the visitors, due to their original photographer being unable to attend the game. So I may be the only independent photographer to have images on both international teams’ websites! You can see my picture of the Canada team lining up for the anthems here and another here on the Rugby Canada site.
Are you on Instagram? I was speaking with a fellow rugby photographer the other day who told me he wasn’t. If you’re a photographer who wants to get your work noticed by more people, or if you’re interested in photography at all, you really need to get yourself on there. It’s probably the most popular social network and it’s all about photographs. It’s a no-brainer really. There are tales all over the net about photographers who’ve built up huge followings and got lots of work through Instagram.
That’s even happened to me on a small scale. One or two pictures sold because a couple of companies have seen them or my other work on Instagram. I’ve reached a bit of a milestone just recently. After nearly a year of very slow follower growth (mainly because I’d seen some advice on YouTube about only using half a dozen hashtags (#) or so with each photograph posted; advice which proved to be wrong), the number of my followers has now crossed the 1500 mark following a more dramatic growth.
I realise that this is a small number alongside those who have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, but for someone who mainly photographs grassroots local rugby, it’s not bad. If you’re not one of my 1500 or so followers, I’d be really honoured if you’d consider becoming one. Have a great weekend!