Michael Hamtil/Photo Editor
Dallas Morning News
May 21, 2016
On the field, at games, and at auditions, we often see photos of the game faces and poses of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders — the ‘peak action’ they are so good at and are paid to do.
Shooting it is what we call fish in a barrel. The hair, the legs, the smiles, the bods, the moves … they are so perfect, polished and well-executed all the time that there’s usually little variation in the expected images, despite the ever-changing cast of cheerleaders.
Tryouts are another story. They offer a small glimpse of what is happening off the stage and because it’s more uncommon that is what interests me more. Not to be trite, but the best photojournalism is often about showing us more than we already know. Yes, really good photos of the commonplace are always fun to look at and any photos of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders will always be super popular with their fans. But to journalists, getting past the surface is our real challenge. Many readers will always want to know as much as they can about the cheerleaders, and would eat it up if we were able to visually:
• follow a cheerleader through a full game day
• be with someone when they got the news of making the team
• show how much the cheerleaders do all week to prepare and stay in shape
• show what other jobs some of the cheerleaders do when they aren’t cheerleading
• do videos or portraits and interviews where the cheerleaders explain why they want so badly to do this job
Andy Jacobsohn had a chance to shoot cheerleader auditions today and he turned in an array of photos covering both performance action and context.
Here are some of his peak action images, and some that begin to touch on the unexpected. [Photo Gallery]