Clanton photographer produces award-winning book

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Anyone can take photographs with today’s abundance of digital camera equipment.

Film, though, required that shooters possess actual photography skills, something Clanton resident Matt Zeigler communicates in his book, Sports Shooter: A Photographer’s Story, which recently won a Best Books 2010 award in the General Photography category.

But Zeigler, a 1985 Verbena graduate, said he learned his skills on the job instead of in a classroom.

“I wasn’t a highly experienced photographer,” Zeigler said. “A lot of the techniques people learn in photography school, I learned by just doing.
“I started writing the book just about my experiences, and I realized that what I was doing was giving people a view of how photography was back in the days of film.”

Zeigler shot sports from 1991 to 1996 for various newspapers and as a freelancer.

He started working for the Troy University student newspaper, the Tropolitan, covering Troy athletics. It was here that Zeigler learned from his mentor, Don Norsworthy, who Zeigler credits with helping him achieve his success.

Zeigler later worked for The Troy Messenger, The Andalusia Star-News and The Montgomery Advertiser; and his images also appeared in The Kansas City Star and the Little League Baseball World Series program.

Other than the Trojans, most of Zeigler’s time was spent shooting University of Alabama athletics and Atlanta’s big three sports teams: the baseball Braves, the football Falcons and the basketball Hawks.

Zeigler originally wanted to write about sports instead of photograph them.

“I saw where the writing of the story and the photography goes hand-in-hand,” Zeigler said. “It’s another way to tell the story.”

The book, which was released in June, is available at Amazon.

Many of Zeigler’s photos are archived at

Zeigler and his wife, Glenda, have one son, Matt. Zeigler’s mother, Mae West Zeigler, lives in Verbena.