Sports Illustrated photographer Carlos M. Saavedra is the winner of the Dave Boss Award of Excellence for his entry in the 48th Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest. His photo titled “Great Catch," was selected by a panel of judges as the Photograph of the Year for the 2015 National Football League Season.
The image depicts New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman as he dives into the end zone for a touchdown while airborne Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams attempts a tackle in the third quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.
Saavedra, an Associate Photo Editor with Sports Illustrated since 2000, delved further into the world of photography just five years ago when he began shooting golf and football. His love for sports started as a kid playing soccer on the streets in his native Ecuador before he moved to New York City, where he combined his love of sport with photography.
The Hall of Fame’s prestigious contest is open to professional photographers on assignment to cover NFL games. Photos taken during the 2015 NFL season, that included Super Bowl 50 and the 2016 Pro Bowl, were eligible.
Saavedra’s entry was the first place winner in the action category while Getty Images photographer Patrick Smith was first in the Feature category. His photo “Flying through Smoke” shows Washington Redskins safety Jeron Johnson and teammates running through a mosaic of smoke, light, and shadow as they are introduced before playing the New Orleans Saints at FedEx Field on Nov. 15, 2015.
Judging was conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in early April by a panel of prominent photo editors and photographers. The judges included John Reid, III (Team Photographer for the Cleveland Browns), Ben Liebenberg (Lead Photographer and Senior Photo Editor at the NFL), Karl Roser (Team Photographer for the Pittsburgh Steelers), Brad Smith (Director, Brad Smith Creative) and Tony Tomsic, (veteran photographer who has covered pro football for more than 50 years).
Saavedra will be officially honored at the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, part of the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week that centers on the enshrinement of the Class of 2016 – Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler, and Dick Stanfel. The Class of 2016 will be formally inducted on Saturday, Aug. 6. The GameDay Roundtable is held on Sunday, Aug. 7 before the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers kick off the 2016 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game later that evening.
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