Team photographer Brian Liesse is introducing T-Birds fans to those connected to the team whose contributions might not be readily visible. We are excited about this project because we get to highlight those that make T-Bird hockey possible through their hard work and dedication to the team and the sport of hockey. We look forward to introducing you to T-Birds staff, accesso ShoWare Center staff, Booster Club members, Game Night Staff, Media, and others who help us celebrate and promote the team and the sport in the Pacific Northwest. Each person highlighted has answered a questionnaire about what they do with the team or how they are connected to the team,and some personal highlights. Brian took the photos of each person in their T-Bird environment.
What do you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
I am the Handheld Camera Operator, but people like to shout at me “Camera Man”.
From the when the lights come up for warms up, to when they go out for Sweet Caroline, you can find me throughout the arena with a camera on my shoulder filming a variety of content. I sometimes get to film the hockey game, sometimes Cool Bird, or Tyler giving away prizes. In between all of that though, I get to capture memories of our loyal fans either having a good time or being embarrassed and put them on the giant video board.
How long have you been working for/with the Thunderbirds?
Since the 2016-17 season!
What is your favorite aspect of what it is you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
I’ve always loved filming, so being a Handheld Camera Operator is a way I get to do what I love.
To pick my favorite aspects though…Would have to be when someone gets checked or a fight breaks out and my director is taking my shot. Love being in the right place at the right time to capture those shots. Then there’s finding those people in the crowd that are so happy to be on the big screen. The joy those people have on their faces when the whole arena is cheering them on. I really enjoy moments like that.
I recently have been trying to find patterns in my shots, such as people wearing cowboy hats, color of your jersey, what food you’re eating, hockey mask fans, etc… 🤷♂️
What is the most challenging aspect of what you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
There’s a few. For me though it’s not what I do, it’s what I have to find and that’s someone who can actually dance for Zamboni Dance. I want to see some competition between the fans. Come on, you get to ride the Zamboni! I don’t even get to ride the Zamboni!
We’ve all seen the chest shimmy, the robot, macarena, & Fortnite moves. If you need some new moves “Keegan-The Dancing Usher”, can show you a few during the second intermission.
Other than that, it has to be remembering to get those fans that wanted to be on camera, a chance to be a goof on the Jumbotron. I don’t forget about you guys, I just get busy with other tasks
What is your favorite Thunderbirds memory?
Haha…so I’m sure there’s a few fans that remember this one.
There was a fan who was sleeping before the end of the first period. I noticed him and of course I HAD to get a shot of him on the Jumbotron. Whistle blows. I think his wife was waving at me “no don’t film him” but it was too late. My director switched to my camera of the guy sleeping and everyone started cheering.
So, I came back around to his section towards the end of the third period. He was up and engaged in watching the game. I figured we better let our fans know he had woken up.
So again, whistle blows and we put up a live shot. He’s smiling and waving but he has a confused look on his face why everyone is cheering.
Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I’m not superstitious but I’m a little stitious.
Are you excited for an NHL team to come to Seattle?
Yes! I still think the name should be ‘The Seattle Freeze’ and a Yeti for our mascot! It would have glowing red eyes, and a portable micro fog machine by his feet.
Why a Yeti? Because Sasquatch is icon to the NW region, and what’s the cold version of a Sasquatch? A Yeti!
What do you enjoy doing when not working for/with the Thunderbirds?
I love filming so I do keep busy trying to work on filming projects.
Going to a neat location with my drone, capturing cool footage and photos with it, or just flying around. I’ve been a 107 Pilot since 2018.
I recently have gotten into leather upholstery, so I’ve been having fun with my sewing projects.
I also enjoy playing my guitars & I just got a synthesizer; been staying up way to late jamming’ out on the keys.
Hanging out with my best buddies of course too!
Well, these are just to name a few. I like to dabble in a little bit of everything; I have many interests and hobbies though.
What position do you/would you play if you were to play hockey?
I think I’d do well and have fun as a wingman.
Who are the Thunderbirds biggest rivals?
I’d say our biggest rival is that team south of us, Portland.
Where can we find you on social media?
Instagram – @CaseyBodine and my website www.cameramancasey.com