by Andrew Cummings | multimedia editor
April 28, 2022
When Miami Marlins team photographer Joe Guzy discusses his work, he doesn’t talk about aperture, shutter speed or focal length – he talks about relationships.
To Guzy, a crucial aspect of his job is building trust between himself and the players.
Guzy, a 31-year-old Duquesne journalism graduate, said achieving a level of comfortability with the team requires plenty of time. “There’s no rhyme or reason or textbook or formula on it. It’s just time and you proving that you’re not going to be a distraction,” he said.
By building relationships with players, it becomes easier to capture the quieter moments.
“Getting ready in the locker room, lacing up your shoes as they’re in their private headspace of getting ready for the game…it’s like, that guy’s on the same team. He wants to help me. He wants to just do his job and make it look cool, and make me look cool,” Guzy said.
In addition to working with the Marlins, Guzy also covers other events that happen at the team’s home stadium: LoanDepot Park. This can include anything from monster truck rallies to live music, such as Kanye West’s Donda 2 performance on Feb. 22.
“There’s a lot of stuff on the business side that people don’t think about. It’s probably [a] 75-25 split on 25% of the things I do being games and 75% being anything else,” Guzy says.
For Guzy, there is no typical day. Sometimes, a job can be delivered to him at the last minute.
“I mean, even with Kanye, we didn’t find out that we were shooting it until the day of. So all plans go up, all plans go out the window,” Guzy said.
Guzy began to explore his photography career at Duquesne University from 2014 to 2016, where he studied multiplatform journalism and took pictures for The Duquesne Duke. For Guzy, working at The Duke provided many opportunities to get professional photo experience.
“The power you have as a photographer for a student paper is actually pretty crazy,” Guzy said.
While at Duquesne, Guzy was able to cover campus sporting events, an event at PPG Paints Arena and material for the 2016 presidential election with democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Toward the end of his time at Duquesne, Guzy began to work as the assistant team photographer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. By taking advantage of the opportunities around him, Guzy said he was able to get a job that his college self would have been envious of.
“When I got to Pittsburgh, I really started following the Pirates. So after living there for two years and going to a bunch of games…it’s kind of like ‘whoa, that’s the guy I used to pay to watch. I get paid to be here,’” he said.
Dave Arrigo, the former Pirates team photographer, worked closely with Guzy and noted Guzy’s talent.
“Joe was very detail-oriented, was able to catch on with a lot of different things that we were doing at the time…I think Joe is a young man who had an opportunity and a door open, and he went right through it. He was intelligent, he was innovative,” Arrigo said.
Peter Diana, a former staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also spoke highly of Guzy’s skill when he worked with the Pirates.
“You either have it or you don’t, and a lot of people were weeded out within a few weeks. And you could tell that Joe had it,” Diana said.
Guzy began working as the team photographer for the Miami Marlins in January of 2019.
“I left with all my stuff in Pittsburgh January first, drove down over two days and my first day of work was the third,” Guzy says.
Currently, Guzy is trying to get as much diverse photography experience as he can by branching outside of baseball. Among his additional work is NBA basketball, Formula One motorsports and football.
“My biggest fear is that someone will come across my website and be like, ‘Oh, he’s just a baseball photographer,’” Guzy said.
“I want to shoot as many different things as I can and have experience doing as many different things as I’m able to so if someone is looking for a photographer for coverage for an event they’ll be able to look at my website and be like, ‘Oh, this kid can do everything.’”
Guzy had advice to offer to aspiring journalism and media students.
“Try everything. If I didn’t, I don’t know what I’d be doing,” Guzy said. “Because if I didn’t just on a whim say, ‘Oh, yeah, sure, I’ll take photos,’ I wouldn’t be here…It’s always worth trying something and then quitting instead of just never trying it. That goes for even silly things like trying to do radio shows or video stuff at school.
“Any opportunity you have to try to learn a new skill, at least just always try it because you never know if it’s going to be the thing that you latch onto and it’s something you do for the rest of your life.”