A Husker campaign: College football preview photo shoot

For The World-Herald’s annual college football preview section, Deputy News and Presentation Editor Tim Parks decided to used a political campaign theme. Armed with signs, balloons and an Uncle Sam hat, I photographed 11 Husker football players as though they were stumping on the campaign trail.


Quarterback Taylor Martinez


In the concourse of Memorial Stadium, I set up a temporary studio with four lights and a backdrop. We were going for a bright white background, so I used a white cloth backdrop hung from stands and lit with two flashes. A few feet in front of that, I set up two soft boxes for soft, even light.



Designers Jay St. Pierre and Parks were on hand to help direct and carry equipment, which I appreciated! With shoots like this, we always have a limited amount of time with our subjects, so we set up the lights an hour before we were scheduled to see players. Once the guys arrived, we were able to move them through quickly, only taking about five minutes of each player’s time.


World-Herald designers Jay St. Pierre, left, and Tim Parks stand in for a light test.


Defensive end Eric Martin was a great sport, hamming it up with our Shepard Fairey-inspired poster of head coach Bo Pelini.


Defensive end Eric Martin


Of course, as any politician knows, you have to kiss a few babies along the campaign trail. Special thanks to the Waldman family of Omaha!


I-back Rex Burkhead kisses 4-month-old Emily Waldman.


Kenny Bell did his best Uncle Sam pose, made famous by the 1917 J.M. Flagg poster.


Wide receiver Kenny Bell


And Spencer Long made his push for the Husker “pipeline.”


Offensive lineman Spencer Long



To see the rest of the photos from this shoot and read much, much more about the college football season to come, pick up a Sunday World-Herald on Aug. 26. And head to Omaha.com’s Big Red Today for the latest Husker news.

Rebecca Gratz

About Rebecca Gratz

Originally from Ohio and a graduate of Ball State University, I moved to Nebraska to join the World-Herald staff in 2004. As a photojournalist, I'm privileged to meet interesting people, learn new things and travel around the country. Whether I'm walking knee-deep in floodwater, kneeling on the sideline of a Husker football game or flying with the Nebraska Air Guard to Germany, my goal is always to tell the story with photos.
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  1. Josh says:

    I’m going to need the “rebuild the pipeline” and the “bolieve” pictures for my desktop. Thanks.

  2. Wendy Woodruff says:

    Love this photo shoot!! My favorite picture is of Rex kissing the baby, with Kenny Bell being my second favorite picture!!