Sports photographer finds new focus during COVID-19

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 19:16:05-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Isaiah J. Downing, who captured last season's NFL Photograph of the Year as voted on by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, makes a living taking sports photos. Therefore, we ask him to picture what his role and his access might be like when games return in the coming months.

"Without fans in the stadium, we're going to have different perspectives to shoot from," Downing, who is based in Colorado, explained to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "Now, if nobody is in the stands - you can go shoot from different points of view - maybe some places you haven't shot from before. For me, it opens up some possibilities and it might be interesting - a chance to get some different perspectives."

Downing admits, after this long layoff due to COVID-19, it will take a few games to get back in the groove. However, he and his cameras have not been completely sidelined during this sports standstill.

"I'm doing some 1-on-1 stuff, taking product photos - things of that nature," Downing revealed.

Isaiah is also the photographer for a soccer team in Colorado. And while shooting photos of the players volunteering at a food bank during the pandemic, Downing found himself some work - and it does not involve his award-winning photography.

"I shot for about 30 minutes, and they were really busy - so I dropped my cameras and started helping out on that shift," Downing recalled. "A few weeks later, they reached out that they needed help on a more full-time basis."

So now, Monday through Friday - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Isaiah works in the warehouse of the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado.

"It gave me something to do, and they've got a good mission there."

A highly-acclaimed sports photographer finds a new perspective, without games even being played.