Photographer Rich Moll Focuses on Maple Grove, Osseo Communities Through His Lens
Sep 14, 2016 08:23PM ● Published by Doug Erlien
Rich Moll’s stunning photos are highlighted in a variety of venues, from his website to publications such as the Osseo Maple Grove Press newspaper. The photographer, who owes his love and passion for pictures to his dad, takes more than just sports photos. We caught up with Rich on a rare night off.
MGV: You seem to be everywhere. How do you fit it all in?
RM: Since I cover both schools Osseo Senior High School and Maple Grove Senior High School for the Sun Newspaper, I start by looking at their games for the week, who they’re playing, when and where to map out what games I’ll be shooting. I try to keep the coverage between the two schools pretty even, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes I’ll have to cover the first half of a game at one school and then zip over to the other school for their second half. Then you add into the mix the Gopher football games and the Vikings football games that I photograph and you have a seven-day work week.
MGV: Sports photography is just a part of what you do. Talk about the other parts of your business.
RM: Senior pictures and sports portraits is my main business to go along with professional head shots and some event photography for the Maple Grove Magazine. All of these shoots get added onto my sports calendar too. Caffeine is my friend. I love doing senior pictures because I try to make the session be a special and fun time for the senior. Girls are usually really into the picture session, but the guys usually need some special attention to get them excited about doing pictures. The one comment I hear almost every time during a guy’s session from mom who is usually watching, “that’s your fake smile, do a nice smile.” Sports portraits can really be fun and creative. Anything from a nice sports pose to a front cover of Sports Illustrated bold and edgy look. I get to be creative with lighting on these shots and that’s what brings in the complexity and the fun of the shoot to get the right look.
MGV: You are also very giving of your time and willing to help those who might not know everything about photography.
RM: The one thing you’ll find out about professional photographers is that we are all willing and happy to talk photography. I did the team photographs for the Maple Grove girls and boys high school soccer teams and included a class of sorts for the moms who were going to be designated as team photographers. I really start out with the basics, which is first understanding what the camera you have can and cannot do. Most people know how to turn on the camera and put the dial to “P” for program or “S” for sports and then shoot, but not much more. I try to broaden their knowledge of what their camera is capable of doing so that they can get the best possible pictures with the camera they are using. We started by looking at the camera lens they have and what it’s strengths and weaknesses are and how it works with the settings on the camera. Then we talked about the different settings of the camera’s ISO, shutter speed and aperture and how that all affects the quality and kind of picture you can get. It’s great when you see people start to learn that they can have so much more control over their camera and understand how they can create better pictures.
MGV: Do you have a favorite moment or game that you have covered?
RM: Tough question since I get to cover high school, college, and professional sports. I love the atmosphere of high school and college games so much more than professional sports. The enthusiasm is different and more genuine at the high school and college level. Gopher Football, I think, ranks number one for atmosphere and fun, especially when I get to shoot it in the warm fall sun on a Saturday afternoon at TCF Stadium. The most memorable game was just last year when Osseo won the high school football state championship game in such dramatic fashion. I was able to be in the right position on many plays and got some great pictures of some crucial game turning plays. Just what a photographer hopes to get.
MGV: Any funny or memorable stories from games that you could share?
RM: It’s funny when I’ll get a tweet or message from my friends that they saw me get run over on TV during and NFL game. One of the most memorably disappoinging games was the Vikings loss to Seattle in the playoffs. I’m on the sidelines, I have Blair Walsh all lined up in my camera viewfinder to get his happy reaction after kicking the game winning field goal and then I have Seattle’s cornerback Richard Sherman come running into my viewfinder with a huge grin and hands up in the air celebrating. I never saw the actual kick until I got home and watched a replay of the kick. That was not the picture I intended to get. I did have some fun with it though. I noticed on my picture of the kick afterwards that the laces were towards Walsh’s foot so I just had to send it out on Facebook with a reminder of the advice given in the movie Ace Ventura, “Laces Out!”
One real nice memorable moment happened at the AC Milan and CHelsea FC soccer match at the new US Bank Stadium. During the player introductions where the players come out with a young soccer player, I took a picture of a young girl who plays soccer for Edina walking out holding Chelsea’s captain and soccer legend John Terry’s hand. Her soccer jersey had a McDonald’s sponsorship and their tagline “I’m Lovin’ it” on the front and the girl had this big beaming smile that just said it all. I put it on Instagram and it went international and had over 1,500 likes.
MGV: What is your favorite part about photography?
RM: I like creating something that will make someone say, “I love it.” Just like a cook who wants to make a meal that tastes fantastic, I want to create pictures that people will remember (and hopefully purchase of course).
MGV: How can people contact you to set up an appointment or get more information?
RM: My website is RichMollPhotography.com and my email is Rich@RichMollPhotography.com, or call my phone (612) 860-2637. People can always follow me on Facebook at Rich Moll Photography and at Sports Photos Now, or on Twitter and Instagram.