KANSAS CITY, KS - Sporting Kansas City defender Zorhan Bassong (22) looks down at FC Dallas forward Paul Arriola (7) during the second half in the match between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas on Sunday, July 7, 2024 at Children's Mercy Park (Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media)

That One Photo.

July 7, 2024 at 9:32:18pm. A single photo was taken. 

That photo hit the internet less than 5 minutes after being taken, racking up 20k impressions across platforms and accounts in the first 12 hours. 

KANSAS CITY, KS – Sporting Kansas City defender Zorhan Bassong (22) looks down at FC Dallas forward Paul Arriola (7) during the second half in the match between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas on Sunday, July 7, 2024 at Children’s Mercy Park (Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media)

Showing the photo to Bassong after the game in the locker room, stepping back, and saying “Woah! That’s cold. I’m posting that tonight.” Giving the photo to Sporting Kansas City defender Zorhan Bassong, dapping him up after, him showing fellow teammates in the locker room was a cool experience I will never forget. 

My first viral photo. 

How? Speed. 

That night, I had a writer in the press box, posting tweets during the game. How did he get the photo so fast? File Transfer Protocol. Wirelessly transferring images from field level during the game. One press of a button on the camera sends a full-res file over the air to a server and accessed by Carson Flake to post on Twitter/X.

A corner kick coming up for Sporting KC at the tail end of that match, 90+4 minute. Wanting to shoot the celebration of a win for Sporting—only a handful of those this season, I chucked on my 50mm for a blurred background and different look. It’s hard to miss a moment with a camera that shoots up to 40 frames per second. I shot close to 300 images in sequence during this moment, but missing 2 of the most important parts of the moment, the ball to the face and the delivered decking to Dallas’ Paul Arriola. 

A given red card for Bassong as words and actions were exchanged by members of both teams.

Moments of “I did that” fell upon me as the only photo of the event released minutes after the actions. A unanimous “Woah” came from the media in the press conference and locker room as well as people on Twitter/X even days after the event transpired. The moment was mentioned by Matt Guzman with The Kansas City Star, explaining the viral photo and Bassong’s reaction.

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would have a viral photo at the age of 16, I wouldn’t believe you. To have one of my photos go viral this early in my career, is a big accomplishment. I look forward to more huge milestones later on down the line.

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