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Dallas-based freelance photographer Cooper Neill had been hired by Getty Images to shoot action shots of arch rivals SMU and Texas Tech during one of SMU’s biggest home games of the year.


Gerald J. Ford Stadium, SMU Campus

Neill had begun setting up his equipment at the end field, when former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush surprised everyone by walking out onto the field. Says Neill: “The announcement came over the loudspeaker that the president would be doing the coin toss, so I threw down my equipment, and, along with 20 other photographers and about five TV stations, bolted onto the field toward the 50-yard line. I couldn’t figure out how to get the shot because there was this big crowd around them. But I’d covered so many college games that I knew that after the coin toss, they always shook hands with officials on the way to the tunnel. I positioned myself between the tunnel and the president, and I got him shaking hands with one of the referees. I like the shot because [the president] has this little smirk that lets me know he’s enjoying himself.”