About Jeanine Leech
Jeanine Leech - Pittsburgh Sports Photographer and Artist
What girl doesn't want her photo in the pages of America's most popular sports magazine - "Sports Illustrated"? Unlike most girls I never wanted to be the girl in the swimsuit; I wanted to be the girl behind the camera. That dream recently came true when I had two full-page images published in the 2009 Stanley Cup Championship Issue of "Sports Illustrated".
It all began during my teenage years growing up in Pittsburgh "The City of Champions." The Pittsburgh Pirates were two time World Champions of baseball, the Pittsburgh Steelers - the NFL's "Team of the Decade," won 4 Super Bowls and the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted future Hall of Fame player Mario Lemieux first overall. Each week as I pored over my fathers "Sports Illustrated", I dreamed of capturing the big play myself.
In the years that followed, I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh armed with an Associates Degree in Visual Communications, a camera, and a passion for sports. I built a successfull graphic design career. In 2004 I got my big break into photography, when I met Pittsburgh Penguins Team Photographer, Matt Polk. I may not have what it takes to be a swimsuit model, but I was prepared to bat my eyes and use my charm to get in the doors of Mellon Arena. Turns out I didn't need it. Matt liked my portfolio and gave me the job as his assistant for two full seasons (2005 – 2006 and 2006 – 2007).
During this time I also combined my passion for photography with my experience as a Senior Graphic Designer (check out my work at www.doubleplaydesigns.com). I was incredibly honored to create custom collages to commemorate Evgeni Malkin's first NHL goal and Mark Recchi's career milestones of 500 goals, 800 assists and 1,300 points.
In 2009, my hard work with the Penguins landed me a position with one of the premier photography wire-services in the country, Icon Sports Media. As Icon's lead Pittsburgh Sports Photographer, I capture game events and peak action for the NHL and MLB, as well as top level NCAA sports.
My images have appeared in many print publications, most notably "Sports Illustrated", "ESPN the Magazine", "The Sporting News" and "EISHockey World", and have also been featured in many online publications, including SI.com and ESPN.com
Recently, I had the honor of playing an integral role in the art on display at the new CONSOL Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the spring of 2010, I was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Penguins and the James Gallery, Inc., on behalf of the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh, to create original and iconic artwork from my photographs. Produced on hi-gloss aluminum with an average size 48" x 60", I have 12 stunning images proudly on display throughout the CONSOL Energy Center.
I hope you enjoy my site and if you ever see me on the foul line, the side line, or the goal line you'll know that I'm simply trying my best to get the shot. Who knows, maybe someday my image will be on the cover of "Sports Illustrated". Then I could add cover girl to my resume.