It's game day inside the Carrier Dome. And for Rich Barnes, it's business as usual as he preps his camera to take more photographs at a ball game.
It's a job that many of us would find cool and amazing. But for him, it started off as just a hobby.
“I started doing some photography. You know, nature-type things kind of like what everybody does. But, really trying to understand the sports photography and events photography was really all trial and error," Barnes said.
And that trial and error has led Barnes to be one of the leading photographers in all of Central New York. And it's also allowed him quite a few opportunities. See, Rich just doesn't film games at SU. He’s actually traveled all across the country, taking a photo, each snap at a time.
“I’ve been down to Penn State to see a white out game. I’ve photo’d a couple white out games, which was quite an experience. So it’s been great, but when the whistle blows and the game is on though, it’s about doing a job," he said.
But Rich’s story doesn’t just end on the basketball court. As he flicks through the photos of his past escapades, Rich takes time to reminisce.
“I’m not so sure it’s completely sunk in to this day," he said. "I really, at the time and even today, I'm just so happy for the kids and the parents who had an opportunity to be involved."
What hasn’t quite sunk in yet happened way back in 2006. That’s Cortland’s national championship winning lacrosse team, led by head coach Rich Barnes. You see, not only is Rich a stellar photographer, he’s one of the most decorated lacrosse coaches in all of Central New York. And by the way, he’s in the Hall of Fame — a 2012 Hall of Fame class that includes a name synonyms with lacrosse — Gary Gait.
“It’s like a who-doesn’t-belong type," he jokes. "So, that was a great honor."
But as humble as he is, there’s no doubt this room dedicated to Cortland lacrosse means so much to him. There are moments that he’d be willing to talk hours with you about, just like the hours he spends taking photos.