© 2017 Julio Aguilar

Heart of a Champion: 2017 Sports Photography Workshop Recap

The 2017 Summit Sports Photography Workshop was held in Denver, CO on July 12-17, 2017 and included an incredible faculty of instructors and an eager group of students.

Heart of a Champion: The 2017 Sports Photography Workshop

   July 12 – 17, 2017 | Denver, CO      

Sports photography can be overwhelming at times. Yes, camera technology is making things easier to capture than they have been in the past, but it is still up to the sports photographer to show up early and leave late, carry heavy and expensive gear, photograph subjects that are moving at rapid speeds in unpredictable directions, and finally, capture the shot. Although sports photography can be very tough to grasp, with the right gear and settings, the right advice, and the right people in place, the Summit Workshops proved that everyone, from beginners to veterans, can take their sports photography to new heights.

For a week in Denver, CO, workshop attendees met with an astounding group of instructors and models at the 2017 Summit Sports Photography Workshop to photograph a wide selection of sports, learn how to integrate lighting into their sports photography, meet the best sports photographers in the industry, and develop new connections and friendships. With the help of Nikon, Manfrotto and Profoto, among our other sponsors, attendees were able to rent out the latest and greatest Nikon camera bodies and lenses to use during the workshop, they were able to try out Manfrotto tripods and monopods in the field, and they were able to use the best Profoto lighting equipment available anywhere to light up their shoots.

 2017 Sports Photography Workshop attendees came from all over the world to better their sports photography techniques and reach a new Summit in their photography, including attendees from Argentina, Australia, Canada and Scotland. Those attendees got to photograph an incredible selection of sporting events including baseball, basketball, football, horse racing, lacrosse, motocross, tennis, wake boarding and more!

Attendees were able to learn from some of the most talented photographers in the industry who are absolute masters of sports photography, including Nikon Ambassadors Dave Black, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Lucas Gilman, Andrew Hancock and Joey Terrill, and expert photographers and editors Nate Gordon, Jeff Jacobsen, Rod Mar, John McDonough, Mark Reis, Jamie Schwaberow and Mark Terrill.

2017 Sports Workshop Faculty

Rich Clarkson - Workshop Founder

Rich Clarkson

Workshop Founder

Rich Clarkson is the founder of the Summit Series of Workshops. His Denver-based company Clarkson Creative uses new technology to manage photographic and publishing ventures and has done work for such diverse groups as the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and NCAA, and serves as consultant to a variety of companies, publishers and foundations.

Dave Black

Nikon Ambassador

Dave Black is a Nikon Ambassador and one of the pioneers in the conversion to all-digital photography. Dave is best known for his sports photography including covering the Olympic games for more than 20 years for Newsweek, but he is also one of the preeminent experts on photo lighting and has created his own unique style of light painting.

Joey Terrill - Summit Lighting Workshop

Joey Terrill

Nikon Ambassador

A Nikon Ambassador, Joey Terrill is a Los Angeles-based corporate and editorial photographer with a long and varied career in photography. In recent years Joey has migrated towards his passions for environmental portraits and studio/location lighting. A prior attendee of the workshops in the mid 1990s, he’s now a regular faculty member.

John McDonough - Sports Illustrated

John McDonough

Sports Illustrated

Based in southern California, John W. McDonough is one of the main contributors to Sports Illustrated. Before working at Sports Illustrated, John freelanced for SPORT Magazine and worked at the Los Angeles Times and Arizona Republic as a staff photographer. John is widely regarded as one of the world's best basketball photographers.

Mark Terrill - Associated Press

Mark Terrill

Associated Press

One of the Associated Press’ top sports photographers, he covers sports assignments from the Los Angeles bureau. In addition to his skills as a photographer, he’s known for his technical prowess and has been innovative in his use of remote cameras and remote image transmission.

Deanne Fitzmaurice

Nikon Ambassador

A Nikon Ambassador, Deanne is a photojournalist and multimedia storyteller with a passion for humanitarian documentary photography, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. Formerly, a staff photographer at the San Francisco Chronicle, she has experience photographing a wide range of subjects including news, politics, sports, and entertainment.

Lucas Gilman - Adventure Photography Workshop

Lucas Gilman

Nikon Ambassador

A Nikon Ambassador, Lucas spent his early years in newspaper journalism before his love of the outdoors transitioned his work to build a career in adventure photography. Traveling the world in search of untouched places and wild experiences, Lucas captures images ranging from kayaking in India, Brazil, Uganda and Costa Rica to backcountry skiing in Colorado, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Alaska, and South America.

andrew hancock

Andrew Hancock

Nikon Ambassador

A Nikon Ambassador, Andrew Hancock is based in Indianapolis with clients from Tokyo to London, and is regarded as a premier action and portrait photographer. His background as a photojournalist allows him to bring a well crafted storytelling approach to his imagery in both the advertising and editorial arenas.

Nate Gordon

Nate Gordon

The Players' Tribune

Nate is the Director of Photography at the Players’ Tribune, where he oversees all photography for the brand. Prior to joining the Tribune, he was Deputy Picture Editor at Sports Illustrated. In his 16 years at SI, Nate led its photographic coverage at countless marquee events throughout the U.S. and abroad, including 14 World Series and 4 Olympics.

Rod Mar

Seattle Seahawks

Rod Mar is an acclaimed sports photographer whose career spans 25 years. He is currently the team photographer for the Seattle Seahawks and counts among his clients Sports Illustrated and ESPN. He has photographed every major sporting event in the United States as well as numerous Olympic Games.

Mark Reis

Mark Reis Photography

Mark is the former deputy director of photography of the Colorado Springs Gazette — and certainly one of the finest newspaper photographers working in the nation. Mark has now entered the world of freelance photography where he will undoubtedly be highly successful.

Jeff Jacobsen - KU Athletics

Jeff Jacobsen

KU Athletics Photographer

Jeff leads the photography projects of the University of Kansas athletic department as one of the most-visual sports programs in the nation. The venerable Allen Fieldhouse at Lawrence is almost a gallery of Jacobsen’s pictures and few universities in the nation use photography as well in their publications, website and displays.

Jamie Schwaberow

Jamie Schwaberow

Clarkson Creative

Jamie has been Director of NCAA Photos and Director of Photography at Clarkson Creative for 15 years. His role with NCAA Photos has brought him all over the country to cover NCAA’s 89 championships and coordinate with freelancers on proper coverage. His work has been published in ESPN Magazine, The New York Times, Colorado Avid Golfer, NCAA Champion Magazine, and numerous others.

Ron Taniwaki - Summit Photography Workshops

Ron Taniwaki

Nikon Professional Services

With over 30 years in professional photography, Ron Taniwaki currently serves as a Nikon Professional Markets Technical Representative, providing training to News, Magazine, Sports, Adventure, and Wildlife photographers on how to utilize the features of their equipment. Ron teaches forensic photography and photographs aerospace photography, like shuttle and rocket launches.

Day One Sporting Events:

Motocross, Tennis, Wake Boarding

Student Photos

Day Two Sporting Events:

Horse Racing, Motocross, Portraits, Wake Boarding

Student Photos

Day Three Sporting Events:

Baseball, Football, Lacrosse, Light Painting, Motocross, Portraits

Student Photos

Day Four Sporting Events:

Basketball, BMX, Lacrosse, Light Painting

Student Photos

Classroom Events & Behind-the-Scenes:

Classes, Presentations and Portfolio Reviews

A great deal of photography is not spent out in the field photographing subjects but rather at home or on the computer maintaining equipment, editing photos, and building connections in the industry. In addition to being able to shoot out in the field alongside elite photographers, attendees to the Sports Photography Workshop also got the chance to learn some of the non-shooting aspects of photography, like post-processing and camera maintenance. With instructional classes, portfolio reviews, roundtable discussions and evening presentations, attendees are given a wide array of options to learn about the business of photography as well as what makes a desirable photograph.

Bill Eppridge Memorial Award

Bill Eppridge (1938-2013) was a staple in the photography and journalism communities. As a photojournalist for LIFE Magazine, Eppridge captured some of the most iconic images in American history, including photographs of the Beatles and of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. In addition to being a staple in the photography community, Eppridge was also a staple in our Summit Workshops community. He was an instructor and true friend of our workshops, and we miss him every time we host another event.

In Eppridge’s memory, we give an award away at every Sports Photography Workshop to the student who, like Eppridge, displays a high level of enthusiasm, embodies the desire to improve their photography, and delves into the Summit community to make friendships and connections.

This year’s winner of the Bill Eppridge Memorial Award is Scott Taetsch. Scott arrived at the Sports Workshop for the same reason all students so, to improve his sports photography. But it was Scott’s eagerness to learn and capture great images combined with his enthusiasm and can-do attitude that set him apart from the rest of the pack, and led to the workshop instructors naming him the award winner.

Congratulations, Scott! 


I came to workshop hoping to get better generally- Wanted to learn so much awn quickly realized that I couldn't absorb everything. There is so much information and expertise that one needs to realize which "strand" they want to follow. I personally attended everything Dave Black taught. Mark Reis and Jeff Jacobson are also a huge wealth of information and truly want you to become a better photographer. Go- take notes, practice what they teach ands questions. Be a sponge.

-Keith Lucas, Deltaville, VA

The sports photography workshop far exceeded my expectations. It takes people with a high level of skill to organize, produce, and execute a learning experience like this. The director and staff are among the best event organizers I’ve seen and assembled a faculty second to none. These photography professionals are at the top of their careers. They provided guidance equally to all attendees regardless of our skill level and offered us a unique educational experience. Everyone was engaged and present with the attendees, offering direction, feedback, and advice. It is a workshop not to be missed!

-Tom Vani, Denver, CO

Once again, Summit Workshops hit it out of the park. The instructors are incredibly gracious with their time and expertise, there is a wide variety of sporting events to photography, and the classroom presentations are wonderful too. I learned a ton and am inspired!

-Natasha Rigg, Boulder, CO

I can't express in words what i feel on this workshop, with all this exceptional tuitions and the other photographers, the ambience was great. We get a really good teamwork.

-Martin Waichman, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Opportunities like this workshop are few and far between. To meet and pick the brains of industry leaders and pioneers is priceless. The workshop staff worked tirelessly to make sure that all attendees were getting the most out of every moment of every day. If you're serious about making photographs you will leave this workshop very satisfied.

-Chris Marion, Springfield, MA

Where else can you have unlimited access to the best in the business? Simply an awesome learning experience!

-Chris Brown, Houston, TX


The 2017 Sports Photography Workshop was certainly one to remember. With an exceptional cast of instructors and a dedicated group of attendees, the amount of photographic learning during the workshop was stunning. Not only did the students create amazing images that they can be proud of, they also created friendships that will help them expand their network in the photography industry.

We’d like to give a special thanks to Julio Aguilar, Sara Hertwig and Tim Nwachukwu for assisting during the workshop and capturing behind-the-scenes footage. We’d also like to thank all of the models and athletes who helped us create great images during the workshop, we could not have done it without you!

© 2017 Julio Aguilar

© 2018 Julio Aguilar

To Learn More About The Sports Photography Workshop
And To Sign Up For The 2018 Sports Photography Workshop:


Visit our Sports Photography Workshop Page.

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