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PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Last night This morning had all the feelings of an October playoff game. A loud, involved, sellout crowd. Nationally televised. A little controversy and drama. And the best two teams in major league baseball facing off against each other. Neither of which were willing to concede even into the early morning hours.

To have a game like this happen before the All-Star break is even underway is a pretty special thing to have been a part of. Its moments like these that remind me to appreciate exactly what it is that I get to do for a living on a daily basis.

It had all the makings of a great story. But putting my own words together and making them interesting is not my forte, so I’ll leave you with ten of my favorite images that hopefully do the storytelling that way. Enjoy!

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates argues with the umpires after being ejected following a called foul ball that resulted in a home run by Mark Reynolds #21 of the St Louis Cardinals in the second inning during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates argues with the umpires after being ejected following a called foul ball that resulted in a home run by Mark Reynolds #21 of the St Louis Cardinals in the second inning during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates salutes the crowd from the dugout while receiving a standing ovation following his solo home run in the 5th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates salutes the crowd from the dugout while receiving a standing ovation following his solo home run in the 5th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates collects a ground ball in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates collects a ground ball in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after striking out in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after striking out in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores safely in the 8th inning past Yadier Molina #4 of the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores safely in the 8th inning past Yadier Molina #4 of the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates catches a fly ball hit by Mark Reynolds #12 of the St Louis Cardinals in the 13th inning during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates catches a fly ball hit by Mark Reynolds #12 of the St Louis Cardinals in the 13th inning during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is smeared with whipped cream in the face by teammate A.J. Burnett #34 after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is smeared with whipped cream in the face by teammate A.J. Burnett #34 after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 11: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting the game-winning two run home run in the 14th inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on July 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates following his two-run home run in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 24: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates following his two-run home run in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

We are officially one-third of the way through the major league baseball season. As a photographer, it’s always a good idea to reevaluate and look back on your progress made. It’s a healthy routine to get into as I think it helps keep us all from becoming complacent and forces us to always be improving. There’s certainly no sense in making the same images at the same event, all year long. In order to have a diverse, yet complete look to your body of work, you need to explore all angles, light, etc. Approaching the same assignment with a different lens or focal length can make a huge difference. Having a little bit of luck fall your way is always nice too!

Take chances. For every image I’ve ever ‘made’, I’ve also missed some moments as well. That’s just the nature of the business we’re in. Of course we always hear the saying, “Go where everyone else isn’t”, but the reason we hear that so often is because it’s still so true. Sometimes it’s the only reason we have. Sometimes it works out. And when it does, it’s always worth it.

Obviously we all have jobs to do at these events. There are always clients to please and typically a small window to fit it all into on deadline. But get to your assignment early, explore, fulfill your client’s needs, then go and show the world how you see things. But be patient. Just like in the game of baseball, you may only find that unique picture once every few times you attempt to go after it. However, batting .300 is a really good statistic to have, even if it doesn’t include a home run.

Here is a small collection of my favorite images so far this season from PNC Park. Enjoy!

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 22: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Sleet falls onto the field in the top of the seventh inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs  at PNC Park on April 22, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 22: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Sleet falls onto the field in the top of the seventh inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on April 22, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 15: Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates grabs a bat from the dugout during batting practice prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 15: Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates grabs a bat from the dugout during batting practice prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Addison Russell #22 of the Chicago Cubs walks down the hallway before taking the field for batting practice prior to his first MLB game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Addison Russell #22 of the Chicago Cubs walks down the hallway before taking the field for batting practice prior to his first MLB game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23:  A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 23: A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23: A fan waves a Batman flag prior to the start of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 23: A fan waves a Batman flag prior to the start of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 19:  Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Minnesota Twins during the game at PNC Park on May 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 19: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Minnesota Twins during the game at PNC Park on May 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 15: Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up in the on deck circle in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers while wearing the #42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day during the game at PNC Park on April 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 15: Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up in the on deck circle in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers while wearing the #42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day during the game at PNC Park on April 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 19:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at PNC Park on April 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 19: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at PNC Park on April 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 19: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fields a ball at first base in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at PNC Park on April 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 19: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fields a ball at first base in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at PNC Park on April 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 10: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates attempts to flip the ball to first base in the second inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on May 10, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 10: Jordy Mercer #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates attempts to flip the ball to first base in the second inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on May 10, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23: Eric Campbell #29 of the New York Mets attempts to catch a fly ball in foul territory in the first row of seats during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 23: Eric Campbell #29 of the New York Mets attempts to catch a fly ball in foul territory in the first row of seats during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates attempts to catch a home run hit by Ruben Tejada #11 of the New York Mets in the 8th inning during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 23: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates attempts to catch a home run hit by Ruben Tejada #11 of the New York Mets in the 8th inning during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 19: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins during the game at PNC Park on May 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 19: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins during the game at PNC Park on May 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23: The view of Mount Washington can be seen as fans look on during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 23: The view of Mount Washington can be seen as fans look on during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23:  Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 23: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 23, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20:  Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 20: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on April 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fields a ground ball in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs during the game at PNC Park on April 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 20: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fields a ground ball in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs during the game at PNC Park on April 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 05: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the ninth inning against the Pittsurgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on May 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 05: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the ninth inning against the Pittsurgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on May 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 05:  Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsurgh Pirates flips the ball to teammate Jordy Mercer #10 before turning a double play in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds in the second inning during the game at PNC Park on May 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 05: Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsurgh Pirates flips the ball to teammate Jordy Mercer #10 before turning a double play in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds in the second inning during the game at PNC Park on May 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Francisco Liriano #47 and Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates share a moment in the dugout in the sixth inning against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 24: Francisco Liriano #47 and Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates share a moment in the dugout in the sixth inning against the New York Mets during the game at PNC Park on May 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: AJ. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks down the stairs past the Roberto Clemente quote on the wall before entering the field against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: AJ. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks down the stairs past the Roberto Clemente quote on the wall before entering the field against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Opening Day. My favorite holiday. Well, it’s not so much a holiday for me as it is for a lot of kids who get to skip school for a baseball game. But it still brings the same sense of joy and excitement that it does for those kids playing hooky.

It also gives me an added reason to go out and mingle with the people and shoot some features. Some years it has been miserable, rainy, and cold. But yesterday topped 80 degrees and according to Dave Arrigo, the Pirates team photographer, it was probably the warmest he’s ever experienced. That brought everyone out, including one of the coolest parts about Pittsburgh – the Allegheny River boat tailgaters. What a better way to enjoy the weather, catch a ball game, AND avoid the busy traffic and parking that comes with it! I even met some folks aboard ‘JAWS’ who have been coming for over 30 years.

Now, every opening day is a bit hectic. It’s always packed full of media, no matter how good or bad your team may be that year. And there are surely many parts to the ceremony before the first pitch even gets thrown. But if you just take it in stride and enjoy the fresh smell of pine tar, the sights of the lush green grass, and the sound of the ball against the back of a mit, your attitude will help reveal those pictures that encapsulate the first day of baseball season.

Welcome back, Buccos!

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Principal owner and Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting of the Pittsburgh Pirates watches batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Principal owner and Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting of the Pittsburgh Pirates watches batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Jung Ho Hang #27 and Tony Sanchez #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates greet each other during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Jung Ho Hang #27 and Tony Sanchez #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates greet each other during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates warms up during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during batting practice prior to the Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Pittsburgh Pirates fans tailgate on their boat, JAWS, docked along the Allegheny River in front of PNC Park prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Pittsburgh Pirates fans tailgate on their boat, JAWS, docked along the Allegheny River in front of PNC Park prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Fans walk across the Roberto Clemente bridge prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Fans walk across the Roberto Clemente bridge prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Fans walk across the Roberto Clemente bridge prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Fans walk across the Roberto Clemente bridge prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks through the hallway before entering the field against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks through the hallway before entering the field against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Players line up along the first and third base lines prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Players line up along the first and third base lines prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Players line up along the first and third base lines prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Players line up along the first and third base lines prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates his solo home run in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates his solo home run in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates following a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates following a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates the 5-4 win against the Detroit Tigers with teammate Neil Walker during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates the 5-4 win against the Detroit Tigers with teammate Neil Walker during the Opening Day game at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Dear Pittsburgh: I’m coming home.

Life doesn’t always go as planned…

…and sometimes that’s a really good thing.

If everything we asked for and chased after resulted in our ideal outcome, what fun would that be? As an artist, I’d never learn how to get better at my craft nor would we strive to become better people.

We would be stagnant and boring with nothing to surprise us.

Why am I bringing this up? Because my quality of life will soon be in a much better place: Pittsburgh.

This February I will be moving back home to the city of bridges.

I’ve been three years removed from the place that taught and gave me so much. And even in such a short time, it has changed a lot. Just ask my good friend and artist, Baron Batch, who is making things happen over at Studio AM in Homestead, a part of western Pennsylvania that is especially close to my heart. It’s where my grandfather, or ‘Pap’ as I called him, grew up and made his living for so many years. The same man who introduced me to the city, Three Rivers Stadium, and the Stillers.

Whereas Gerald Wickerham, or Pap, was executive director of the North Side Development Council working on constructing new offices and landmarks during the height of the steel industry, this generation of young creatives are finding ways to repurpose those same interiors with their own ideas designed for today’s world while still maintaining the blue-collar mentality.

One foot firmly planted in the past and the other proudly moving forward towards the future.

It’s exciting to have the opportunity to put my own stamp on a city that was molded by previous generations of my family. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my time in Boston. I met some really great people, experienced historical moments, both good and bad, and made some pictures that I’m proud of. And for those things, I am truly grateful.

But it’s time to come home to the place I truly belong.

Being back in Pittsburgh is a feeling unlike any other. It’s a combination of the tangible and intangible moments. There is certainly a general sense of feeling welcome in such a friendly part of the world. But there’s also a self-confidence that comes with being in a place that is open to change and taking chances. There are no limits to what someone can accomplish in such a progressive place.

Don’t get me wrong – nothing will come easily. There will be a new set of challenges that await. But with the support of friends (let’s face it, they’re really family at this point) like Jeff & Beth Swensen, Justin Merriman, Stephanie Strasburg, Mickey & Molly Miller, Andy Russell, Jasmine Goldband, Baron Batch, Sean Beauford, and the rest of the folks I’ve missed dearly these last few years, I can’t go wrong.

And not to mention all of the Pamela’s hotcakes I can eat!

See yinz guys soon…

–Jared

What a year! A Stanley Cup and a World Series in my backyard here in Boston. A 20-year playoff drought for my Pittsburgh Pirates finally ended. And I documented an awful tragedy that had the overwhelming healing and support of its community and the very sports teams I photograph on a daily basis. Immediately following that was an inspiring showcase of talent and determination of the Wounded Warriors Amputee softball team that was put on display at Fenway Park against the men and women who were among the first responders on April 15th on near the finish line on Boylston Street.

For many, I’m sure that looking at sports photographs is merely for entertainments sake. Some, because of the raw power, skill, and emotion it shows that watching on television or in person may not be able to convey. But for the few who reached out and called, emailed, etc, because they were moved by my pictures for whatever reason, that to me is the best feeling and what I hope to accomplish every day as a photographer. Those messages help solidify why I do what I do for a living.

And as always, I appreciate the ever-continuing support from the photo community that I’m so lucky to be a part of every day.

So, to recap the year that was, here are some of my favorite images from 2013. Enjoy & Happy New Year!

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 24: The New England Patriots take the field against the Denver Broncos before a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 24: The New England Patriots take the field against the Denver Broncos before a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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