Once or twice a baseball season, I like to look through all of the dugout portraits I've taken, spend a bunch of time taking the color away from them and making sure the shades of black that are left make up for it. With no games over the last week, I figured this was a perfect time to go this route.
These always have a tendency to be Gregory Polanco-heavy. Since the day I arrived at PNC Park with a camera for DKPittsburghSports.com, he's been my favorite Pittsburgh athlete, in any of the big three teams we cover, to photograph in any capacity. He hangs out at the end of the bench — where I shoot from most of the season — he laughs, shows dejection, smiles and always wears his hat or hair in the dugout in the most aesthetically pleasing ways.
Since the last time I've done one of these, though (a selection of black and white images from Bradenton, Fla. in Spring 2018), there has been an influx of players I thoroughly enjoy photographing. Chris Archer and Cole Tucker top that list. Their hair, emotion and charisma make any photo better.
Elias Diaz is around the clubhouse every day, Kevin Newman is an integral part of the home run celebration lines. Colin Moran found a smile and Bryan Reynolds brings his 'Cash' demeanor, voice and walk-up song. Quinn Priester brought his own big smile to his announcement press conference.
Up above are some of my favorite portraits so far this season -- well, the ones that translate best to black and white, at least. I kick things off with a giant smile from Tucker ahead of a game. He's always the first one ready to rush the field, he sings as he's headed out and ... Brings. The. Hype. It's a shame I won't be able to shoot him until the next call-up, but the ones of him in this piece will have to do until then.