How Stephen Green Went from MFA Student to the Cubs Official Team Photographer

| June 26, 2017 | People

From spring training through the World Series parade, official Chicago Cubs photographer Stephen Green captured the curse-ending season of our men in blue.


Scenes from a season: Official Cubs photographer Stephen Green’s work tells the story of the team’s historic, triumphant 2016 campaign, from heart-stopping action shots to candid moments in the dugout.

It’s a textbook feel-good narrative: Lifelong baseball fan with creative aspirations wrangles a gig as the Chicago Cubs official team photographer. But it was an unlikely destination for Wilmette native Stephen Green, who, as an MFA student at the School of the Art Institute documenting Wrigley Field for a thesis project in 1982, snagged the position after the team’s then-photographer retired. “Game action just turned out to be something I’m good at,” muses Green.

Over the subsequent 35 years, the Oak Park resident has chronicled hundreds of games—including, of course, last year’s World Series win. “[In] 2015–2016, you really got a taste of who the team was and how it was coming together,” recalls Green, who snapped Kris Bryant’s championship-clinching defensive play from his roost along the first base line at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Somehow, Green (who routinely listens to jazz while shooting) remained level-headed in the post-victory scrum of Game 7. “I had to keep separating myself from being in the moment to photographing the moment,” he notes.

Though the Canon Mark II loyalist is quick to identify his favorite subjects past (“Ryne Sandberg—so understated and so good”) and present (“Javier Baez is so athletic, so incredibly dynamic”), he hesitates to single out one image as a favorite. “I don’t know if I have a favorite shot,” he ruminates. “I hope it’s still to come.”; @sgreenphoto


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