Invisible in all black with his camera bag and backwards baseball cap Saquan Stimpson, strolls around the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware looking through lenses to capture moments in a game.
As the buzzer sounds his intimidating tall stature is humbled to crouch with camera in hand and obtain the perfect angle.
The referee’s whistle blows and Stimpson,33, enters his comfort zone on the court, escaping a childhood nightmare of living with a drunken mother to the art that he admires.
Since 2006 he became a freelance Delaware sports photographer while also contributing photos to Rutgers University publications. He knows that the history of images can tell a person in the future what happened a particular time in the past he said.
“When you take a picture it goes down in history I’m fascinated with capturing moments that will last a lifetime,” Stimpson said.
During a game body language, formation and emotion from the athletes speak to a photographer. He says one who listens will get a good shot.
“The images I capture show emotion or determination behind one trying to score a basket,” Stimpson said. “I want to show a person was trying their hardest to make it, even if their team lost.”
He has experience with a wide range of sports photography, including football, basket ball, swimming, track and field, field hockey, lacrosse and baseball. As a former high school football star who took risks and played aggressively, acquiring the nickname ‘Monster’, allows his shots to be more appealing.
“I could estimate where the ball was going by watching the quarterback’s eyes and know to set up a shot capturing him throwing the ball to the receiver,” Stimpson said.
The ‘Monster’ lingers around when shooting a sports event by taking risks.
“I have no fear when I try to get as close as possible. I don’t think about getting hit by a football player,” Stimpson said. “I will move out of the way at the last second.”
Exposed to photography as a freshman attending the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan his eye was caught for one moment that changed the path of his life.
“Looking at Gordon Parks and Francis Wolff’s work, I was wowed,” he said. “I would look at the books for hours and hold the pictures close to my face as if I was going to see beyond the image (he laughs).”
Drawing inspiration from his two model photographers he has studied, and he listens to their lessons while covering an event.
“Even though they are long gone their photography work lives on,” Stimpson said. “It speaks to me in words that I can’t describe. I take a little bit of them in my spirit when I shoot photography.”
“Monsterphoto is about respect, craft, history, and integrity” his website www.monsterphotoiso.com states about his company. Starting with expertise in event coverage, he has shifted closer to sports photography due to the unknown experiences he may have on the field or court.
“Shooting sports, with a high interest in action and the ever-changing, unpredictable nature of photographing athletes during the games they play,” appeals to him his webpage stated.
As a passionate photographer he believes sports coverage has grown in importance as sport has grown in wealth, power and influence even though all may not see it this way.
“The sports department within some newspapers has been mockingly called the toy department, because the “serious” topics (are) covered by the news desk,” Stimpson states on his webpage.
Determination and passion for photography has kept a camera propped in hands for over 15 years as he developed a portfolio.
“If you are going to write a story about me I think people should see what I do,” Stimpson said.
As the time clock counts down to the end of the fourth quarter future plans are to look forward to working hard at becoming a lifelong photo editor.
“I can’t say Sports Illustrated is where I want to be, but it is wherever the path of life takes me,” Stimpson said.