One of my most important jobs as a photographer is to create a snapshot of potentially important moments in Pittsburgh sports -- one that readers can thumb back to when they feel like revisiting a special day in sports, or just one they really enjoyed as a fan.
I got to thinking about this while looking through and editing the photos from Penguins development camp in late June, when my Sunday's Best was derailed by a blockbuster move sending Phil Kessel out west to the Coyotes. Of course, I couldn't share photos of Alex D'Orio after cult hero and two-time Stanley Cup champion Kessel was dealt hours before my piece would run.
So, I tore what I had from the page, went through thousands of Penguins images and shared a few of my favorite Kessel images with you guys and gals. That piece, now, is one that will remain on the site and help tell the story of not just when Kessel left, but who he was as a Penguin during his historic time in our city.
But, that time looking at some important pieces of the Penguins' future made me think about my opportunity to document the memorable first moments of those players' time in a Penguins sweater. Samuel Poulin's first goal. Jan Drozg dazzling and splitting defenders en route to a breakaway. What would come of this crop of young Penguins?
It made me think about some of the other moments: The Stanley Cup run, Sidney Crosby's special game out in Colorado and the scream that capped it off, Jake Guentzel scoring a pair in his NHL debut, Ryan Reaves putting on that show, Andrew McCutchen with his "home" in the background and Marc-Andre Fleury's tearyreturn to this city. Others weren't as fun ... like my Addison Russell-caused concussion.
Some things will always be more obvious and memorable -- the Cup and the returns for example. But, when you want to relive Crosby's scream or see what I had of Guentzel in his debut, those moments are here, too.
Part of this journey, and looking back through my career so far, made me realize that Friday was my three-year anniversary at DKPittsburghSports.com -- something that snuck up on me so quietly that I'd never have considered it without looking back to some of my first pieces and those moments. Literally had no idea.
So, once again, with Penguins development camp photos planned to show you guys, my plans ... derailed.
Instead, I've chosen to show a few of my favorite and "best" (whatever that means) photos I've taken over the past three years. Don't be mad at me for kicking things off with Antonio Brown. It's arguably the best action moment I've ever captured ... But the other side of that argument, Mr. Patric Hornqvist, is up there as well.
Some of the choices are more obvious. Some of the moments are more obvious. They all mean something to me, though. Hopefully, some of them will also matter to you. I know some people will think there are obvious omissions, and I'd love to hear what you would have included!