Back in 2009 I was watching my club — then the Milwaukee Harlequins — play a match when I noticed a young man on the far side of the pitch taking photos. This is not uncommon in sports but two things caught my eye.
First, the lens he was using was massive and was cream-colored, like the ones you normally see being used in stadiums by professional photographers. Second, the man was making his way around the pitch in a wheelchair, undeterred by the soft turf!
Thinking he might be on assignment from a local newspaper, I headed over for a chat. That is how I met Rick Benavides (see photo above, second from right), one of the best sports photographers in Southeastern Wisconsin.
“Just trying to get my name out there.”
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Rick had simply showed up that day to practice his craft and “get his name out there”. He told me that all the pictures would be online and that the players could purchase them if they liked. Since there was no upfront cost and the pictures were fantastic, we were thrilled!
Rick kept coming to our matches, and we quickly developed a good relationship. It didn’t take long for us to see the value of such a skilled artist, and we decided to hire Rick to shoot the 2009 Lakefront 7s.
Since then, Rick has shot nearly every Lakefront 7s (including 2021), and a great many matches for the Harlequins and Milwaukee Barbarians. He’s even joined the club on tour for Nationals!
Rick has shot lots of matches for other clubs and many other sports in the area as well. He is the official photographer of the Southern Lakes [high school] Conference and his photos are regularly published in the Southern Lakes Newspapers (serving Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties). He’s also been published multiple times in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Where to get hi-res pics with no watermarks
If you like Rick’s work, why not head over to his 2021 Lakefront 7s gallery to purchase some digital originals. Unlike what we published on this site and on Facebook, Rick sells the high-resolution versions and once purchased do not contain any watermarks.
You can also order prints directly (much cheaper than digital) as well as wall art and keepsakes.[chimpmate]