From Sunnyvale Cop to 49er Photographer

Former police officer trades in his gun for a camera

By Damian Trujillo
|  Tuesday, Jan 15, 2013  |  Updated 12:50 PM PDT
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He used to wear a gun on his hip, but Tony Medina ended up replacing the gun with a camera. NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo reports on a cop-turned-sports-photographer.

He used to wear a gun on his hip, but Tony Medina ended up replacing the gun with a camera. NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo reports on a cop-turned-sports-photographer.

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He used to wear a gun on his hip, but Tony Medina ended up replacing the gun with a camera.

The former police officer for the city of Sunnyvale is now a professional photographer, which took him to the sidelines of Saturday’s exciting 49ers win at Candlestick Park against the Green Bay Packers. He retired from the department of public safety in 2006.

“It was electric,” Medina said.

Medina was also in the photographer’s well during the San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series run.

On Saturday, the self-taught photographer who now lives in Santa Clara was staring down the offenses and defenses through the tiny viewfinders of his four cameras.

“You get real good at seeing the big picture through a little square," Medina said. "I don’t know how else to describe it."

Medina shot between 600 and 700 pictures during Saturday’s game.

As a freelancer, Medina sells the “good ones”, as he calls them, to Getty Images, Icon Sports Media, and the Santa Clara Weekly.

Even though he’s a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan, the former cop often finds himself silently rooting for the Niners.

“You want to cheer, but at the same time you want to capture the moment," he said. "And that’s what’s important. You really get focused on watching something great right in front of you and you’re there to document it."
 

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