I first met Jade Hewitt many years ago, when she was a photographer for the Dallas Charge of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). After the NPF, Jade moved on to Athletes Unlimited Pro Sports (AU), building an impressive resume, including the Olympics, Topps cards and more. Earlier this week, Jade discussed all of this in our interview.
While attending Millsaps College in Jackson, Tennessee, Jade was a four-year letter winner on the softball team. While the ever-humble downplays her softball prowess, she was awarded All Conference and All Tournament selections and was a team captain her junior and senior years.
Jade tells the tale of her start in the NPF. It's a story of guts and persistence. The fledgling Charge franchise quickly learned the talent they just acquired when Jade joined the organization.
After NPF, AU came calling. As the Lead Photographer, Jade was in charge of capturing the moments and players in softball, volleyball, lacrosse and basketball. Each sport required a unique photographic eye and Jade was more than up for that challenge. The thousands of pictures over the four years of AU prove Jade was the right choice.
At AU, Jade's photos appeared on the first ever women's softball cards produced by the Topps Company. That alone would be the career highlight for most folks, but Jade has done much more.
In addition to AU, Jade also did photography and videography for Team USA, including at the Olympics. Only the players get official medals, but Jade certainly earned a gold medal for her work.
Jade discussed all of this in our interview. She talked about the challenges of finding unique shots during four years of softball, the pros and cons of staying in the same stadium, adjusting to other sports and more, including her favorite frozen yogurt and the occasional return to recreational play on the field.
Those who follow Jade on social media (and everyone should), already know this, but Jade often gives photography tips. Not only that, but in the interview, Jade excitedly states she loves helping others. Jade realizes what women before her did and her place in history. She is proud to help future generations. Her enthusiasm is one of the best parts. As much as she enjoys her work, she also takes great pride and thrills in passing down advice.
The AUX season starts with the first team drafts on June 9 in Rosemont. Of course, Jade will be there photographing the draft. Actually, I am sure she will be there earlier as the players settle in and start practicing. I know she will be there for all the AUX games, then she will return in late July for the regular AU softball season.
I thank Jade for her time, but also for all of the great photos she has shared with the world. I have great appreciation for Jade's work and even more for Jade herself. She's an asset to the world of women's sports.