Many people don’t have a clear grasp of what really goes on behind the scenes of the booming esports industry. In this series, TheGamer will peek behind the curtain and take a look at the biggest competitive gaming scenes. Today, we sit down with award-winning esports photographer, Stephanie Lindgren.
Stephanie is an esports photographer that has traveled around the world and captured many incredible esports moments. Some of her most recent work was at prestigious events like League of Legends World’s 2019, COMBO BREAKER, and EVO 2019.
Stephanie was kind enough to give TheGamer a refined perspective of what esport photography is all about and shared with us what it truly means to be an esport photographer.
What made you get into photography?
What made me get into photography was that I’ve always been a creative person. I’ve always been interested in the arts. Whether it’s you know, working with clay or building blocks or painting, drawing, sketching, and anything like that, I’ve always had an interest in it. However, I always thought for the longest time that photography was not a part of art; it was not creative because you just take a photo of what’s in front of you.
But that changed when I was in high school, and I got to meet some other artists that were photographers, and they kind of inspired me. Because at the same time, as I had the mentality that anyone could take a photo, I thought to myself, “then why don’t I take that photo?” So that was the kind of thing that provoked me but got me into photography slowly but surely.
Was there anyone that inspired you before you became a photographer?
Not necessarily. Again, I feel right where I was provoked by what I deemed as these uncreative photographers that were in my class. They didn’t necessarily inspire me. It’s more of a thought of “if they can do it, then so can I.”
What are the three esport events that defined your career?
DreamHack Winter 2014, which was when I was on the social media team for that. And that’s where I met many of my now-friends and fellow photographer colleagues that inspired me to get into esports photography because you cannot do good social media without content, and these photographers were fantastic. And I wanted to be able to capture the moments they were capturing.
My first RedBull Kumite, which was 2017, I think, where I went there by myself. No one had hired me. I just showed up. And with that, I managed to make an impression on RedBull it seems, because the year after that, they hired me. So that was cool to be able to go to an event by a big company that I’ve known for ages and make an impact on them, so that was very important to me.
And [lastly] there’s a tie between COMBO BREAKER and EVO. EVO 2019 was when I captured one of my favorite photos of Arslan Ash. At the same time, COMBO BREAKER has two of my favorite photos, which is SonicFox beating Go1, as well as Tasty Steve jumping out of his seat during a Tekken match. Those are probably the three ones that come to mind.
Out of hundreds of shots you’ve taken throughout the years, what is your number one shot?
I’ve gotten tired of mentioning it over and over again because I’m proud of it, but everyone’s heard about it and seen it before, but it’s my Arslan Ash photo from EVO 2019.
What is one esport you love, genuinely enjoy, and could watch endlessly?
Probably just generally anything within the FGC but like Marvel, Tekken, and Street Fight depending on who’s playing. Those are the three that kind of loop, and I can always just tune in and enjoy.
Last year, you were awarded Esports Photographer of the Year at the Esports Awards, how does it feel to be acknowledged as the best?
It feels pretty good. I know that I’m quite a shy person. I don’t like to talk about my achievements and things like that, but it feels really good too, first and foremost, to be nominated amongst all these incredible photographers.
That was my third time being nominated and then winning feels like a nice little badge on what I’ve been doing, but at the same time, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface because even now there’s a lot of people who don’t know who I am, especially within things like Call of Duty or Dota and other esports that I have not been shooting recently. So I have barely scratched the surface, and I feel that I want to make these people know who I am.
Lastly, you’re such a talented and fantastic photographer. For anyone getting into photography, videography, or anything media related, what are three traits those people must have to succeed in the industry?
I would say, first and foremost, passion. Secondly, persistence and third, I guess drive. I feel like drive almost goes into the same as persistence, but you won’t have a drive without passion, and you won’t be persistent without drive. So yeah, passion, persistence, and drive.
Special thanks to Stephanie for taking the time out of her schedule to make this happen. Stay tuned to TheGamer for more of the “Inside Esports” series.
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