When Minnesota native Fitzgerald was 11 years old, he received a Christmas gift from his parents that would ultimately change the way he views the world: an instant camera. "I would just photograph stupid things around the house, but at a very young age I developed an appreciation for it," says Fitzgerald. Twenty years later, he says, "I've been able to travel and see new things, and photography is something I take great pride in." The wide receiver, who has set foot on all seven continents and has traveled to 92 countries, shared some favorite snapshots and talked with SI KIDS about his love of the craft.
2 of 6Elizabeth McGarr McCue
"When I was a high school sophomore, I got one of those cameras with the film you develop. I saved up some money from my job working as a ball boy with the Vikings to buy my own film. My parents were big on me being self-sufficient. If you want something, you have to work for it in life. That was something they instilled in me at a young age. I kept that camera all through college. When I got to the NFL, I had the means to get a camera that I really wanted. Initially I started off with the regular lens that came with the body of the camera. I used that one for a few years, and then I wanted a little more variety in things I could shoot — landscapes, scenery, wildlife — so I knew I needed to get some better lenses that would give me the capability of taking shots that I really like."
3 of 6Elizabeth McGarr McCue
92 Countries and Counting
"I didn't add to the total this off-season. I went back to a few places that I have been before and did some different things. I went back to Australia, Tanzania, and Rwanda. I went down to Mexico. I've pretty much gone everywhere that I wanted to go in the Southern Hemisphere. I travel between the end of the season and April. I really want to go to Iceland and Russia and Scandinavian countries, but I don't want to freeze, either. If I wanted to be cold, I'd just come back to Minnesota during the wintertime."
4 of 6Elizabeth McGarr McCue
A Shared Love
"Whenever I'm doing humanitarian missions, I'll have kids walk around with me and let them snap photos of things they think are cool. I'll carry a Polaroid with me because a lot of those kids have never seen photos of themselves. I'll take a picture and give it to them on the spot. They find that unbelievably fascinating. I can bring a passion of mine and give it to them and they really like it."
5 of 6Elizabeth McGarr McCue
Making a Memory
"It's one thing to explain a scene or something that you saw, and it's another to be able to capture that moment. I love scrapbooks. There's a lady in Arizona who has been scrapbooking for me for years. I probably have 10 or 12."
6 of 6Elizabeth McGarr McCue
To Post or Not to Post?
"Everybody is taking pictures of themselves. I'm not really into selfies and all that type of stuff. I'm more into photography from an artistic standpoint — not just taking pictures to take pictures, of food and things like that. Relax and give yourself time to smell the roses. Appreciate the smaller things: the turtle crossing the street or the caterpillar eating the leaf. I enjoy the smaller things while still enjoying adventurous things. Make each photo count."
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