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Previewing the 2023 Season Through the 49ers Team Photographer's Lens

Being a team photographer comes with inside access to a team that allows them to capture the significant events that happen throughout the course of a football season. It also offers the photographer a unique perspective on the team's culture and its players due to their proximity to the action and a consistent presence with the group.

This is the case for San Francisco 49ers director of photography services Terrell Lloyd, who has worked with the team for over 26 seasons. Lloyd has snapped photos of the team since the 49ers played under head coach Steve Mariucci at Candlestick Park, which was then called 3Com Park, and has been ever-present since.

His access and closeness to the team's staff, coaches and players is unlike any other. Lloyd has captured the special moments that have happened inside the 49ers locker rooms, training sessions, pregame rituals and more for over two decades, allowing him the opportunity to showcase the players' personalities and the team's dynamics.

Lloyd's work was put in the spotlight during the 49ers 2023 media day. Just before the start of the season, players got geared up to have their photos taken which will soon be displayed at Levi's® Stadium on gamedays and in digital content across the league. Lloyd's unique connection with the players allows him to capture their genuine emotions, celebrations and unguarded moments that others might miss.

"It's all about making them feel comfortable," Lloyd said. "Once they feel comfortable, it's pretty easy. They bring out their personality and we get some nice shots. It makes for a fun time."

For Lloyd, the 49ers media day marks the unofficial start of a new season. He meets the team's newest players, becomes familiar with the rookies and gets a full picture of the team before they get ready for the season opener.

"Media day is a lot of work and it takes long days. But when you look at it, it's about the start of the season. Getting ready to head into what I call the long grind – the seven days a week, traveling, home games, just everything. When I take all the images, go back and they're put into a design, it's neat to see how they're all put together. You get to see the details that make up this team."

Some of the newest details to the 49ers 2023 roster include the marquee free agent acquisition of defensive lineman Javon Hargrave, the hiring of defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and the drafting of rookie safety Ji'Ayir Brown. Lloyd has kept a pulse on each offseason moment leading up to Week 1 and has a unique perspective on the team's development.

"Watching the team from the draft, to OTAs, to training camp and seeing the new acquisition players that we've signed coupled with the current roster, I start to think, 'Man, I really like this team.' I like the new guys that are coming in and I have a sense that this could be something special. You don't truly know until they step on the field and do what they do, but then again, based on the last couple of years and the pieces that the team's filled, I just have a high confidence about this squad, this team, the new players and the rookies that are here.

"Once they're all on the field, you can see how hard they've been working and how well they work together. The way the team is clicking this season, even with the new guys, it's exciting."

As a witness to the team's relentless effort, Lloyd's confidence grows and his sense of something special brewing becomes tangible in his images. Through his lens, he'll shape the next chapter of the 49ers story, conveying the team's upcoming journey, triumphs and biggest moments one frame at a time.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at what went down on set at the San Francisco 49ers 2023 media day.

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