One of our most popular features is FACES IN THE CROWD, which for 28 years has been saluting outstanding achievers—famous athletes at first, but now all in the outback of sport—local heroes who are admired and nominated by friends, relatives, coaches, sportswriters and others. Our editors make the final selections, and each week half a dozen faces in the crowd become FACES in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Until this past September, picking the photos that ran in the section was fairly simple. We'd receive black-and-white pictures with the nominations, sometimes photos from a yearbook or a local paper but more often snapshots from family albums, taken by a doting parent or proud relative. Occasionally we'd have to go back a couple of times to get a print that wasn't too blurry or dated, but there were seldom insuperable difficulties.
In September all that changed when we became an all-color magazine. We needed color photos for our FACES, and, says Deputy Picture Editor Teri Daubner, "The demands of full-color meant we could no longer rely on casual snapshots taken by grandma on the front lawn. We had to be sure the pictures were of professional quality."
Because our regular photographers are usually tied up on more complex jobs, it's impractical to send them out to shoot FACES. Instead, Picture Researcher Sue Maynard tracks down local photographers and asks them to handle the assignments. They're professionals who understand not only our technical requirements, but also such necessary practical matters as deadlines and the importance of getting film to us swiftly and safely.
So far the new system has worked beautifully, and as a salute to all the local pros who have contributed to the colorful new FACES IN THE CROWD, we present the five who produced this week's pictures (page 87), a special PHOTOGS IN THE CROWD.
Comegys, 41, who took the picture of Anthony Brown, is a staff photographer for The Wilmington News-Journal. He's a tennis player when not busy with his cameras, and his 16-year-old son, Fred Jr., has already won photography prizes.
Hvizdak, 32, who took the picture of Peter Sawkins, is a staff photographer for the New Haven Register and the Journal-Courier. He also writes stories for special features that he photographs. He is married and has a 5-year-old daughter.
Titchen, 60, who took the picture of Farley Simon, had a photo in the fourth issue of SI. He's an Australian who settled in the U.S., working in New Hampshire and New York before joining the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1959.
Kappler, 27, who took the picture of Jeff Chesin, is a busy free-lance photographer in the Philadelphia and New York areas. When he finds the time he builds furniture, and he hopes to take up rowing. His wife, Charlotte, designs ladies' sweaters.
Wade, 28, is pictured twice because he photographed two of our Faces this week, twins Joanna and Julie Dias. Wade, a staff photographer for the Akron Beacon Journal, took the photos at the Dias home and reports that he particularly enjoyed the assignment because "I got a free slice of pumpkin pie out of the deal." He also enjoyed talking running with the sisters, having competed in cross-country in high school and briefly at Ohio University. He still runs for fun.