Before the football season begins, each team member, coach and trainer of the San Francisco 49ers gather at the SAP Performance Facility for their annual team photo.
Typically, 49ers team photographers are the only people focusing on how to get the best shot of the team. This year, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk took part in the creative process, capturing fun moments with his teammates behind a disposable camera.
"It was different, not being able to see the picture you took right away," Aiyuk said. "But I actually think they turned out pretty good."
Go behind-the-scenes with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk at the 49ers team photo.
Over the offseason, Aiyuk took up a new hobby and purchased his first camera, a Canon EOS RP. The receiver's newest passion was inspired by the photo albums his mother created from Aiyuk's childhood.
"Just around the house, I'll take pictures of my son. I plan on taking pictures of my son as he grows up so he can have a whole collection of pictures. Growing up, my mom did the same for me, I'm pretty sure she used the disposable ones. She had a big photo book of us growing up and I want to do the same thing."
Aiyuk hopes his journey into photography doesn't just capture the precious moments in his family's life, but also creates special memories for his son, Braylon. Growing up, some of Aiyuk's fondest memories with his family were from the pictures they took together.
"I remember photos my mom took of me in the car with my dad, the same type of pictures I'm taking, just being around the house with my siblings. I'm happy I get to look back at those memories."
As a self-taught photographer, he's invested a great deal of effort into his off-the-field passion. Aiyuk now takes photos on his newest camera, a Sony Alpha 7. While the third-year receiver is mostly self-taught by watching YouTube videos, he's also picked up some tips and tricks from 49ers team photographers Terrell Lloyd and Kym Fortino.
"I want my social media to have clean, crispy pictures. I don't always want a photographer or someone following me around, especially when I'm at home. So I thought, 'Why not get a camera and take pictures myself?'"
As for now, Aiyuk has only practiced his photography skills around his house, his favorite subject being his family members. However, Aiyuk plans to one day take his camera to the football field to capture action shots of his teammates and hopes to create an Instagram page dedicated specifically to his photography journey.
"I'm still figuring out the different lenses and everything that goes into photography. I'm still a rookie in the camera world... My teammates would be the perfect people for my pictures – Kyle Juszczyk would definitely be my first model."
Alongside making picture-worthy moments on the football field, Aiyuk looks forward to growing his talents behind the camera and capturing the moments that are most meaningful to him.