Freezing the Action

Ogeechee Media Group


At its core, sportography is about storytelling. For Ogeechee Media Group, each photograph tells a story of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence. Through the camera lens of CJ Howard and co-shooter, Eric Adamski, the stories of young athletes come to life, providing a visual narrative of the triumphs and trials of their game. Their work highlights the drama of competition, the beauty of motion, and the intensity of focus that defines sportsmanship.

Their expertise seemingly lies in the ability to sync their senses with the rhythm of the game, pressing the shutter at the exact moment when action, emotion, and light align to tell a story in a single frame—though both CJ and Eric humbly credit the efficiencies of their cameras as part of the recipe for incredible sports photography. CJ’s journey into photography did not begin on the ball fields, but in the quiet, profound moments following the birth of his daughter. He purchased his first camera and lens just 13 years ago as a means to capture and preserve time and memories of his family. Today, with a keener eye honed by years of practice, CJ has trained himself not to focus on the perfect shot, but on being in the right position to capture the perfect shot. But, capturing the perfect shot is not CJ’s only professional focus. By day, he works as the Fiber Engineer for Coastal Electric Cooperative, where he has built a successful 21-year career thus far. Ogeechee Media Group is his beloved side hustle.

Eric’s love of photography stems from childhood. “My grandfather took up painting and photography after retirement, and my mother, to this day, is armed with a camera, ready to capture the moment.” Eric recalls vivid memories of flipping through the pages of Sports Illustrated and how he always admired the magazine’s renowned success in capturing athletic intensity. “I was always the “camera dad” with my kids,” he laughs. “I love photography, so when CJ dreamt up Ogeechee Media Group, I jumped in with both feet.”

The Side Hustle

From gymnastics meets with his daughter to the sports fields with his good friend Eric, CJ says he began to realize just how many people were in the market for photos of their children in action. Ogeechee Media Group was formed in 2021 to meet that market. “Eric is a soccer referee and was also really connected in the high school clubs because of his children. RHHS Track and Field Coach, Levi Seibert, allowed us to set up our version of “sportraits” and create banners for each of his team athletes to put on display around the track. Through this opportunity, we made connections with the other high school coaches and school leadership and gained access to more and more opportunities to capture the action,” CJ says as he explains the path to Ogeechee Media Group being named the official sports photographer for Richmond Hill High School.

No two games are alike, and no two shots are the same. The variability requires not just technical skills, but also an understanding of the sports they photograph. “Knowing where to anticipate the action is the foundation for a good shot,” CJ explains. “I have a style and I aim to create a certain look for my images. It’s hard because you can’t really plan when or if the shots are going to happen. The only thing I can plan is what I aim to capture, and then I choose where I need to be to do so.”

Eric echoes the challenges, but elaborates on the thrill of practicing sportography. “That shutter click freezes time. You get the beads of the turf flying… the deformation of the ball as it makes contact with a net… or the sweat coming off of the player. It’s like your eye doesn’t see any of those details until you freeze them at 1/2000 seconds.”

“Whether it’s the winning leap of a high jumper, the split-second decision of a soccer player, or the emotional victory of a game-winning stop at home plate, OMG freezes the moment in time,” says CJ. “We get to offer families a tangible piece of their own history.”

CJ beams as he shows me a recent shot of his daughter posing with the prize after her first duck hunt. By looking at the image, you could almost hear the joy in her laughter, her emotions captured perfectly. As we scrolled through more images on his phone, he stopped on a few select favorites to illustrate what being positioned perfectly can result. A dirty shotgun throwing a flame as the shell escapes the chamber, or a bass fisherman when he nets the catch and fusses at the fish. “I’m like a kid when it comes to this stuff. I get so excited when I’m able to grab something completely unexpected.” Sportography isn’t the only style photography this team does well. Portraits, landscapes, and nature shots are also a part of OMG’s portfolio.

OMG’s story is a reminder that in the fast-paced world in which we live, a keen eye for those moments are indeed a needed art. A window into the past, photography like that created by Ogeechee Media Group allows us to revisit and appreciate experiences that would otherwise be lost to time.