Chip Kelly was wrong about this one. The Philadelphia Museum of Art placed the Eagles' team photo in its gallery ...
No, Drew Hallowell does not think that he's Ansel Adams.
Hallowell, Ed Mahan and Hunter Martin were assigned to take the Eagles' team photo on Monday. The three were in the process of getting the players lined up. They have taken the Eagles' photos for years and have even worked with other teams in Philadelphia, so they're no rookies when it comes to this. The challenge, as Hallowell explained, is getting the players in the front row to have their legs positioned the same way. The Eagles may not care about getting their photos done today, but 10 years from now when they want to show their families and friends they are going to. The photographers understand this and make the effort to get everything just right.
While getting the players set, head coach Chip Kelly wanted to get the process moving along. Hallowell thought nothing of it at the time. A couple of hours later, Kelly joked about how even the team photo session was conducted at an up-tempo pace.
"It was as good as tempo. And I would challenge anybody. I'm talking we got our team photo done. We got individual position coaches and players done at their positions. We got our coaching staff photo done, and our training staff photo done in four minutes and 40 seconds. It was awesome," Kelly said at his press conference.
Kelly was asked a follow-up question about the pace at which the photographers worked at and once again he showed that he knows a thing or two outside of the football world.
"One of the guys thought he was Ansel Adams," Kelly said which had the reporters laughing. "We said, 'Let's get this thing taken and let's go. 'You know what I mean?' It's not like it's going to be hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art or anything. It's going to go in someone's office somewhere, so let's just get it done."
Kelly has had the pulse of the team as the Eagles are 5-1 and off to their best start since the 2004 season that ended with an NFC title. However, Kelly was wrong about where the picture would end up. The Philadelphia Museum of Art had the photo printed, framed and tweeted a picture of it in its gallery on Wednesday.
Hallowell said that he received lots of calls and text messages after Kelly's press conference. He and the other photographers originally thought that the Ansel Adams remark was meant for Mahan, who has been a team photographer since 1971 and likes to get everything precise. But Hallowell recalled Kelly's desire to get the photo over with when he realized that he was Adams, the photographer famously known for black-and-white landscape portraits.
Instead, Hallowell thanked those who mentored him.
"I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for people like Ed Mahan and being able to assist guys like Al Tielemans at Sports Illustrated and getting to meet guys like Neil Leifer, Walter Iooss, Jr., who are some of the greatest sports photographers ever."
Hallowell has earned plenty of honors since assisting with the team's transition to digital photography back in 1996. He has been honored three times by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Add in Martin's 27 years of capturing Philadelphia sports and the Eagles had nearly 90 years of experience on hand for Monday's shoot. No wonder it went so fast. Nonetheless, Hallowell never thought that his work would end up in an art museum, let alone one like Philadelphia's.
"We all know that it's part of the joke for the city and the fans. It's not like my pictures compare to anything that's in the Philadelphia Museum of Art," Hallowell said, "but it's an honor nonetheless."