It All Started With Craigslist

None posted by: by Jeff Ernst on Thu Mar 26 2009
Fate Is A Funny Thing

As the title says, It all started with Craigslist. I go there every once in a while to look for camera equipment or electronics, but this day (November 25,2007) was different. I decided to look around and the first click changed my life as I knew it. It is a funny thing how fate plays a part in everyone's life. Whether you want to believe it or not, it is true. Had I not clicked on the creative job section to see what it was, I would not have seen the ad titled Sports photography. I took a shot and sent my email off to an unknown entity explaining how I was a beginning sports photographer and that I would be interested in offering my un-proven services. Much to my surprise I got a  response the next day letting me know that I could stop down and give it a shot (pun intended).

it's a F***ing audition?!?!?

I drive out to Muskego (I've never been there before), find my way through the hills and winding roads to pull into the Muskego High School parking lot only about 20 minutes early, it gets closer to the start time and NO ONE IS THERE?!?!?!? I then  realize that I am on the wrong side of the school (DOH!) I pull around to where I am supposed to be and pull into a parking spot. I sit in my truck for about  5 minutes taking in what is about to happen. This is what I have always wanted to be involved in. I take a deep breath and grab my camera and walk into the school. I am greeted by Hucksdorf and he tells me where to find Satterwhite. I go in and introduce myself and find out that there is another photographer there. To myself I think WTF! I have my first official sports shoot of my life and it is a F***ing audition?!?!? Well after accepting the possibility that I may be done with my dream of becoming a sports photographer before it actually started. My head was swimming with everything that was happening. Where do I stand?  Is it ok to stand out in the middle of the floor? Do I just stay on the sidelines? Will I be in the way? Will the coach get pissed that I am in the wrong position? WILL I BE ASKED TO LEAVE?

He Called It Ralph

I gather myself and just start taking pictures of every one and everything. I may not know where I needed to stand but I know what I had to do. Well as the day progressed, I started to feel comfortable. I got the shots that I wanted. Even my first shot of a casualty after the stamina challenge.... He was over on the floor next to the trash can.... I guess he had a pet name for it. He called it Ralph. I submitted my pictures and got some positive feedback even though I didn't have the proper lens for indoor sports photos. I made due with what I had. After that first practice, Satterwhite and I began to talk daily as he helped me with my pictures and getting involved with the website.

Semi-Pro 101

As we start to talk I find out that Eric wanted to have more than one photographer there in case someone dropped out. I KNEW that person was not going to be me.   As the third practice happened the other photographer stopped showing up and I knew that like it or not the Hitmen were stuck with me. The season went on and I attended every practice and every game. I started to get comfortable in my role and started getting to know the team. It went from the head nod when they saw me to a handshake and a comment about the pictures that I took the week before.

I started getting contacted from family and friends of the team to get copies of some of their favorite photos from my web site ( It made me feel like I was on my way to my dream.  Though the season ended on a less than stellar note (I still think Bork scored). I was pleased with the effort, knowledge and final product that I had developed. This brings me to the next step in my never ending dream of becoming a sports photographer on the sidelines of the big 3 (Brewers,Packers,Bucks) and getting published in Sports Illustrated (I can dream can't I?). I have been offered media credentials to photograph the new  professional arena football team in town, The Milwaukee Iron. They are the newest team in the AF2 league. I could not be more pleased with the opportunity in front of me. I have the same feeling I did as I sat in that parking lot in front of Muskego high school on that 1st day with the Hitmen.

So to you that say fate can not play a part in shaping our lives,. all I have to say is......

It all started with craigslist.

Filed Under:
  • boomerzworld
  • ernst
  • jeff
  • photos

  • Nick on: 27 Mar 2009
    Team Owner #44
    great article jeff! i just wanted to know that we appreciate you greatly. you take awesome pictures. if there is ever anything you need from us feel free to ask me anytime.
    Brad on: 31 Mar 2009
    Die Hard Fan
    the hitmen are on craigslist?

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