Sports Illustrated photographer advises students to be respectful


Photo: Huiling Wu/Iowa State Daily

Damian Strohmeyer, photographer from Sports Illustrated, talks about his photography career and gives tips for shooting various sports on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the College of Design. 

Rachel Sinn

Five journalism students received an impressive opportunity to attend and photograph the Iowa State versus Oklahoma State men’s basketball game with Damian Strohmeyer, Sports Illustrated photographer.

Strohmeyer selected each student based on a submitted sample portfolio to shoot the March 6 game. Canon Camera USA provided top-of-the-line equipment for the students to use.

Iowa State Daily photo editors William Deaton, junior in journalism and mass communication, and Huiling Wu, sophomore in journalism and mass communication, were selected to work with Strohmeyer in addition to Kaitlin McKinney, senior in journalism and mass communication and Daily photographer; Ryan Riley, junior in journalism and mass communication; and Yue Wu, senior in journalism and mass communication, Ethos photographer and Sir Magazine photo director.

Strohmeyer spoke at the College of Design on at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7 in a packed auditorium about his experience as a photographer and gave advice to other aspiring photography students.

“In the old days, you developed relationships generally over the phone, and then you physically went to New York and you shopped your book around,” Strohmeyer said. “Now, and I’ve told all these photography students, the website is the gatekeeper. You’ve got to have a website that’s going to be attractive, easy to use and showcases your work in a really nice manner.

According the Greenlee School of Journalism website, Strohmeyer has had his photographs used on the cover of Sports Illustrator 67 times since 1988. Six of his images are featured in the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Greatest Sports Photos of All Time.

Stohmeyer showed slides of his work and explained basic elements of sports photography.

“Five things I believe: 1. Treat everyone with the proper amount of respect, 2. Family comes first, 3. Never stop learning, 4. The three most important words in the world are ‘I love you’ followed closely by ‘I am sorry;’ the two more important words are ‘Thank you’ and the single most important word is ‘please’ 5. Realize that the world does not revolve around you,” Strohmeyer said.

Strohmeyer spoke on the difficulties of being away from home and how he and his wife of 23 years make it work.

“We made a pact when we got married that I would always get on the first plane home that I could get on,” Strohmeyer said. “If there was a midnight flight home from Des Moines tonight I would be on it; that’s how you keep your family going and make that all work. We have a nice pact that we’ve worked out because we choose to make it work and that’s the big thing about it.”

Riley said Strohmeyer is a great photographer that cares about helping students.

“Damian’s a great guy, he’s fun to be around and he’s always looking to help young photographers out,” Riley said.

Wu said she appreciated the opportunity to have honest criticism from a professional.

“He didn’t just give us a general idea. He critiqued every single photo that you showed him,” Wu said. “He would tell you the reason why he really liked it and he would tell you the reason why he doesn’t like it. That’s very important, that’s where you’re going to learn and improve.”

For Wu, the experience was unforgettable.

“This experience — it’s something you can’t learn in the class, you’ve got to listen to the people that have done it before.

To view Strohmeyer’s professional online portfolio visit