Q: Where are you from and tell us about yourself?Jason: I’m originally from New York and I was in education for about 20 years, but I left that career to pursue photography. It used to be a hobby. I’ve become heavily-involved in sports photography, and about 2 years ago when Xtream Arena was opening, I checked it out and became involved as the official team photographer for the Heartlanders for the home games. I don’t mind the drive from [where I live in] Oelwein.Q: What’s the routine on a game day?Jason: I normally arrive about an hour and a half before the game. Up until about a half hour before doors open, I’m getting my gear ready, and occasionally get shots of fans coming in and walking around the concourse. About 6:30 I’m down on the Heartlanders' bench shooting warm-ups, then stay down by the ice for introductions, ceremonial puck drops, and the national anthem. During the game, I try to position myself wherever the most action is happening to get the most ideal shots.
Q: You said you’re down by the benches during warmups. What are the guys like during that time?Jason: Much-more relaxed than during the game! They sometimes socialize with other players they know on the opposing team. They’re focused on the game and making sure they’re ready, but also pay attention to the fans which I admire. I generally try my best to stay out of the way on the bench and let them do their thing while capturing some shots.
Q: What makes a great photo to you?Jason: Certain moments. There has to be a moment. It can’t just be a player shooting a puck down the ice. There has to be the moment. It’s not always when a player scores, but something that makes a play memorable. Anything that remains a moment in Heartlanders history. There’s a good photo, and then there's a great one when the exact second or two something unique is happening.
Q: You do other photo shoots and concerts, plus other sports photography. How does hockey compare? Jason: Hockey is a challenge, and not only because of the speed. Overall, it’s not like other sports where they take turns on possessions or alternately going from one end to the other. You’re looking everywhere and have to be focused on the puck, plays, and grabbing that shot.Q: Fans know who you are as the official team photographer. What have you enjoyed about getting to know the people – fans, front office, players?Jason: The Heartlanders fans truly make the experience. They love getting those shots captured of them in the stands or concourse. I sometimes get DMs from people asking if I captured photos of them. The front office and players are fun to be around, and it’s an overall great atmosphere. I’m really happy to be involved, and enjoying my second season working for the team. Follow Jason Rubin @JMRImages (Twitter) @JMR_Images (Instagram) and check out his full selection of photos (including some available for purchase) at https://jmrimagesphotography.pixieset.com/heartlanders2022-2023season/.com