NFL rookie trades the pigskin for a Nikon D6

Kei'Trel Clark uses a Nikon D6
(Image credit: Caitlyn Epes / Arizona Cardinals)

NFL stars are usually on the other end of pro sports cameras. But Arizona Cardinals rookie Kei'Trel Clark wanted to see what it's like to be behind the lens, hitting the sidewalk to try his hand at street photography.

Drafted by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, it didn't take long for Clark to express his interest in shooting to the team's official photographer, Caitlyn Epes. She armed him with a Nikon D6 (yes, many elite sports shooters stuck with DSLRs over the Nikon Z8 and Nikon Z9) and an 85mm lens, and the pair hit the streets of Arizona to see what the cornerback was capable of. 

• The D6 is still one of the best cameras for sports photography

"He wasn't used to not having a zoom function, but once I told him the basics of changing shutter speed and ISO, he dove right in," said Epes – a seasoned shooter, who has previously been an official photographer for the Pittsburg Steelers and the NFL itself. 

"I think we would both admit he struggled a tiny bit in the beginning because of the shadowy areas we were in, but it was so interesting to see what his eye was drawn to photograph."

A look through the slideshow of his images reveals that Clark did indeed struggle with getting the correct exposure (and, later, with keeping an approaching subject in focus on a 70-200mm lens). Despite this, however, there are some merit-worthy shots – including some murals, abstract architecture, and interestingly composed street images. 

It's safe to say that Clark won't be giving up his gridiron aspirations for a camera any time soon, but the rookie baller's rookie outing as a photographer produced some fun moments. You can check out the images he took, along with Epes' commentary and behind-the-scenes photos, on the Arizona Cardinals website

You might be interested in the best professional cameras and the best 70-200mm lenses for sports photography. Whatever you're shooting with, check out these sports photography tips too!

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.