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Media Day

Gabe Fluehr
Picture of Boys Soccer

Media Day is a wonderful new addition to Springfield Athletics this year. Led by Senior Gabe Fluehr, each Springfield Athletic team gets their picture professionally taken using his knowledge of photography and sports to showcase the distinctive players of each team.

Jonny Gendron, a junior on the water polo team, shared his enthusiasm: “Media day is really exciting, especially because we have someone as talented as Gabe heading the initiative. You know the images are going to turn out great, and it’s always awesome seeing the results.”

Coach Giordano, the girl’s basketball coach, also emphasized the value of the media day and how it allows students to associate names with faces and gives them a sense of familiarity with athletes.

Why a Spartan Media Day?

For the last two years, Fluehr started collecting and taking videos and pictures of multiple games.  Over the past summer, he “noticed how a lot of local schools had a wide variety of media and pictures” for their athletes. Seeing the other school’s programs inspired Fluehr, and he collaborated with the athletic director, Joe Ferraro, to set something similar up.

As a result, the STHS Athletics Instagram was born with the “idea of taking photos of each athlete to showcase Spartan Athletics.” To launch this project, Fluehr “reached out to athletes and coaches to schedule dates” for the photo shoots.

Throughout this whole experience, Fluehr says that “Dan Meder, Marlene Thornton, and Joe Ferraro have been the best mentors.” They taught him how to make his ideas a reality and to step up his game with both visual storytelling and professionalism.  Over time, he learned to “use almost every piece of software,” to build media day into its current form.

Girls Basketball: Grace Dailey, Devan Nolan Picture Courtesy of Gabe Fleuhr


The Process

Due to his background in photography and film, “setting up the camera and lights came naturally.”

However, for Fluehr, the most “nerve-racking” and important part of his project is ensuring that the “athlete feels comfortable,” especially when he isn’t previously familiar with the student. Lots of athletes feel odd because of all of the lights and the big camera. To combat this, Fluehr “helps them with poses and is encouraging [so as]  to create a comfortable atmosphere.” Additionally, having adults there helps make everyone feel more comfortable so athletes can really just be themselves. 

Gendron says that with his experience with Spartan Media Day, “he [Fluehr] pretty much took each of us one by one and asked us what we were thinking about with poses and gave us feedback. After those individual pictures were taken, he would allow us to take group pictures as well.” Gendron added, “The most enjoyable thing for me is that we can have the freedom to take any kind of picture we want.”

After taking the pictures, Fluehr “breaks the shoot down frame by frame to make the athletes look better.” There are around 500 photos in each shoot, so combining the fall and winter seasons, Fluehr has worked to produce close to 10,000 photos. “It’s a very long process. However, sitting and editing these photos is Fluehr’s passion, which makes it enjoyable.”

The Future of Media Day

Fluehr will do the same thing in the spring for all athletes. He is trying to “create a club for the school to continue athletic photography after he graduates.” Fluehr wants to create a place where athletes and students have a place to look for professional pictures. In addition, he is “mentoring another student to continue to take media pictures and film sports.”

Coach Giordano also expressed optimism that Spartan Media Day would continue to take place in Springfield, pointing to its positive impact on the players’ morale and the opportunity to show off each athlete’s appearance. 

Media Day is a wonderful opportunity for all athletes and will hopefully continue for many years.



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