Behind the Camera: 2015 Year in Review

January 15, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Over the course of a year, some of our photographers cover a variety of events across the country - and sometimes the world - while others may only cover one. We all do it for the love of the sport, and it only takes one single moment to remind us of that. A few of us took a look through our 2015 coverage and picked out a single moment, photograph or feeling that stood out, and recorded our thoughts below. We hope you've enjoyed our 2015 coverage, and we're looking forward to seeing you in 2016!


Corvallis, OR: Franklin High School (Quakers). USA Ultimate 2015 Western High School Regional Championships. May 30, 2015. © John King / for

I was excited to shoot my first HS Westerns tournament. It's about 30 minutes before the first round is set to begin, and I've just jumped off the back of a golf cart that gave me a ride in. I get less than 10 steps from the road and pull out my camera to take a couple test shots when I see a girl's team (Franklin High School) cheering in a pre-game huddle. Just as I squeeze the shutter, the girl leading the cheer stands up in the middle and I get this shot, which really captures the enthusiasm these kids have for the sport. I would shoot for the next two days on that field, but that first shot remains my favorite. -John King

Ultimate tournaments in Arizona tend to get a bit wacky, especially as the temperature starts climbing above 100 degrees. UltiFest, which is held in the cool mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona, is just one of the few costumed tourneys I get to shoot here. I know the extent of these great athletes' abilities when dressing up is not part of the fun, yet I still marvel at how they can perform at such a high level in full costume. This photo reminds me and other fans that the fun and spirit of Ultimate is forever blended with its extreme competitive nature. - Alex Rentzis

Ultifest Flagstaff, AZ Oct 11, 2015Ultifest Flagstaff, AZ Oct 11, 2015
USAU Club Nationals 2015USAU Club Nationals 2015Frisco, TX: Revolver celebrates winning the men's final at the 2015 USAU Club Championships

2015 turned out to be a very busy and exciting year for me as an Ultimate photographer. I wanted to get out there, get involved and shoot more than I had the previous year, and I did just that. Over the course of the year, I covered multiple college and club tournaments and became an Official UltiPhotos Photographer. But even with some MLU & beach action mixed in, one tournament really stands out to me.

2015 Club Nationals. As a last minute addition to the team, this tournament almost didn't even happen for me. It was overwhelming at first, especially since I'd never shot a tournament this scale before. Four days in Texas, three competitive divisions, 48 teams.

When the time came, all I had to do was slow myself down and to tell myself that it was just like shooting any other game or tournament. The skill level would just be higher, making it even more exciting to shoot. It's hard to pick just one photo to sum up this experience. I chose this shot because it shows that emotional release after four days of competing for a National Championship and coming out on top. I have set my goals for 2016 and, man, this year has a lot to live up to. - Paul Andris

Traffic_Allstars_20150728202703_JBP0020Traffic_Allstars_20150728202703_JBP0020All Star Ultimate Tour visits Traffic Ultimate for an exhibition game in Vancouver BC, Canada. July 28, 2015 ©2015 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

One of the biggest stories in Ultimate in 2015 was surely the All-Star Ultimate Tour in the summer. Qxhna Titcomb’s brainchild was well-received during its fundraising phase and there was loads of hype and buzz online, but I had no idea what to expect once it was rolling; I just knew I wanted to shoot it! 

I’ve been so impressed with the growth and success of Traffic Ultimate and the local university women’s teams, UBC and UVIC, in recent years. I was really excited to get to photograph our hometown teams against some of the best athletes from the US. When it was announced that UVIC star Kate Scarth was going to play for the All-Stars, there was even more to look forward to.

The venue was Winona Park, a regular league field with a lovely slope for the fans to sit on and take in the action. What it lacked in grandeur it made up for in nostalgia and charm. The weather cooperated and the fans came out. All we needed was a good game, which we got with the local team taking down the world-class talents on the ASUT, 15 -10. 

There are few chances to shoot top level women’s competition outside of National and World competitions, especially in my own backyard. I greatly appreciated the opportunity that the ASUT offered and I hope that there are more events like it coming up to showcase these amazing athletes. - Jeff Bell


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UltiPhotos is made possible by the collaboration of dedicated photographers whose shared goal is to showcase the amazing action and wonderful moments experienced in the sport of Ultimate.  This blog shares their perspectives on the photos they take and provide updates on UltiPhotos plans and initiatives.

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