Daniel St Louis has captured two decades worth of Moncton Wildcats memories.
From championship glory to heartbreaking defeat, Daniel St Louis has captured it all.
Capturing a moment in time is the true essence of photography, but it’s clear the long time professional goes above and beyond.
St Louis’ work screams anticipation, instinct, but most of all passion.
Of all places the racetrack was where Daniel St Louis learned what life was like behind the lens.
It was the track where St Louis would develop the true meaning of impeccable timing.
Hours upon hours of honing his skills behind the lens has made St Louis the most sought after photographers in Atlantic Canada.
From the racetrack to the rink, to Royal and Presidential visits, to family portraits, to professional headshots, to high profile gala’s, to advertising campaigns, St Louis has done it all, in an almost “chameleon” like fashion.
In hockey terms Daniel St Louis is the Connor McDavid of photography in this region.
Simply put St Louis is a natural, an innovator and a monumental beast when it comes to his tradecraft, especially when capturing the game of hockey.
“I do my best to keep players and the Wildcats organization happy with choice and variety of images for post, ad, digital display or poster,” St Louis said.
“It’s my twenty-first season as their photographer, and I’m always learning,” admitted St Louis.
All legendary photographers possess a secretive almost sniper like approach.
That’s life as an elite level photographer.
Being present, targeting, shooting, but always going unnoticed and undetected, that’s the quintessential aspect of any mission.
Capturing the raw candid personal moments shared amongst lifelong friends, teammates behind the scenes or bitter enemies during the course of battle is clearly what sets St Louis apart from others.
“Since the trade period, the Wildcats Mother’s night and Cats Team photo, I feel a little more connected,” explained St Louis who has found a brand new turret in which to shoot from at the state of the art Avenir Centre.
St Louis can be found most nights between the benches in the middle of all the action.
The only thing separating St Louis from either benches is a half-inch-thick full sheet of plexiglass on the Cats side while half a partition of plexiglass on visitors side.
The long time photographer’s footwork during a contest can be compared to any elite level skater.
Darting to open space to avoid an arrant puck, stick or collision, to instinctually jumping up into the play to capture a moment in time.
“It’s the best seat in the house,” St Louis said smiling.
“It’s my office.”
There’s certainly an element of danger and risk being so close to all of the action.
How dangerous is it being at ice level?
“There’s always a threat of a puck, or sticks and bodies, much like the players bench.”
“Coaches need to watch the puck and play as much as I do,” confessed St Louis.
The gifted photographer often times hunkers down at ice level for roughly two periods every game.
“I am constantly moving in case of a puck deflection. As for capturing the image, I can usually anticipate where the player is going, and watch the body language for a puck release.”
“My most time captures start with press as the body is looking like a shot is about to go,” stressed St Louis.
“It’s usually the first frame capture that shows the puck in flight close to the net.”
From big hits, to fights, to timely goals and goal celebrations, St Louis sixth sense is always on display for all of us to admire the next day when the image appears on the front page of the paper or all over the internet.
St Louis feels at home in his office.
“You hear almost all of it,” said St Louis.
“Players, coaches, both sides, encouraging each other, yelling at each other, coaches going over what they just did to help them correct it for the next time.”
“The personalities come out a lot.”
Always there in the moment, but absent when it comes to interacting with players or coaches for that matter.
“Never anything negative from the boys,” St Louis said when asked about his proximity to the players.
“I give them their space. I don’t try chat with players during the game, but frequent eye contact.”
Eye contact might be all it takes for an outstanding bench capture or interaction amongst teammates.
It’s hard not mention personality without mentioning Wildcats Captain Jakob Pelletier.
St Louis has had a front row seat for Pelletier’s remarkable journey with the Cats.
“Pelts loves to have fun and get a picture taken with another player on the bench during play,”
“The funniest are always with Khovonov.”
“Pelts gets him to laugh and enjoy a little. Funny because Khovanov is always so serious and intense.”
St Louis’ skill and creativity is felt across the entire organization.
“Daniel is very passionate about his job and you can tell he really loves what he does,” said Wildcats high scoring winger Jeremy McKenna.
“Daniel does an outstanding job capturing the moments.”
“It’s something you can look back on in the future and smile,” McKenna added.
“Ever since I’ve arrived here, Daniel has always captured the best moments,” explained Wildcats forward Jacob Hudson.
“Daniel takes great pictures that will give us memories for a lifetime.”
Twenty years of photos.
Twenty years of Moncton Wildcat memories.
The next moment of time is waiting to be captured.