Last Saturday, a good photographer friend of mine, Neil Brandvold, invited me to join him and several friends at the DC United soccer game against the Seattle Sounders. I’m not a soccer enthusiast, but the team’s home base, RFK Stadium, is only a few short blocks from my house, and I’ve been wanting to check it out.
Because I don’t really follow sports too much (except for water polo and skiing, both of which I did up until a few years ago), I’ve never been much of a sports photographer. I remember going to photograph my first Northwestern University football game for the college paper and not knowing where to point my camera, simply because I had no idea what was happening on the field.
However, I do like photographing sports fans and culture. I enjoy capturing the outpouring of enthusiasm people demonstrate for their favorite teams, and the vitriolic antagonism they demonstrate for rivals. A D.C. United home game at RFK Stadium is a great place to explore this spectrum of emotions. Neil has actually been working on a project about the District Ultras, a club of devout D.C. United supporters.
Here are a few of my images of the D.C. United “culture,” predominantly before and after the game: