Whenever you see photos of the Steinbach Pistons or any other local hockey teams, Scott Stroh of Ice Wave Media is more often than not the man behind the camera. 

Stroh says he got into photography when he was looking for a new purpose in life after being released from the military in 2013. 

His love of junior hockey led to his pursuit of athletic photography. 

“I have always had a passion for junior hockey, I noticed there wasn't a lot of photography at the time in the leagues around here, picked up a camera, and went from there.” 

Stroh does all of his photography for free. He explains why. 

“It fulfills a purpose. I'm lucky from having served in the military for so many years, there's the pension that goes in the bank, but there was this idea of ‘what can I do now?’ This love for hockey and being able to showcase it and get close to these athletes was something that started to become really important to me.” 

He says it is a great feeling to be valued by the players and parents for all the work he puts in. 

"During warm-ups, they skate up to you on the bench and they acknowledge your presence and they thank you for the work you're putting in, and in some cases, they're more like brothers, you don't look at them as kids, you look at them as young men, or if we shoot the Women's League, young women.” 

He says it’s a pleasure to build relationships with the athletes and capture precious moments. 

“Many of them come from all parts of North America, and so their parents aren't necessarily here, so if we can provide some action for them, then it's almost like they're here with their kids.” 

This year, Stroh was able to take photos for the Winnipeg Jets thanks to his connection with GAME ON Magazine. 

“They cover everything from The Jets all the way down into high school hockey. A lot of times when GAME ON would be seeking photos of players in the junior ranks, more often than not, I'd have them or one of my team members would, and it just became a really good relationship experience with GAME ON.” 

Two years ago, he got a call from Scott Taylor asking if he would shoot a Winnipeg Jets game, and Stroh said yes immediately. 

His favourite photos are those capturing special moments behind the scenes, of players interacting with their families. 

“It's nice to see an amazing play, it's another thing to see the humanity behind the game of hockey, and that's what I personally love to capture the most.” 

He recalls when he captured a photo of David Rittich last year when he was taking photos for the Winnipeg Jets. 

“David's wife would come out with her young son, and she would have him interact with his dad, and of course, to a baby, a goalie looks like a transformer. There was one particular photo where she was holding the baby out like Simba from Lion King, and then comes David Rittich, and I got it all in one frame. He wound up seeing it, and just to have him come up in the next game and say thank you meant a lot.” 

Stroh was recently able to weigh in on some of the design aspects for the Southeast Event Centre. 

“I'm very appreciative of Russ Dyck who has on a few occasions come up to me and asked what would be important for a photographer, and things just as simple as the photo holes that they have at the NHL rinks and the NHL rules and policies on how these photo holes work.” 

He also mentioned it would be great to have a bench in between the home and away benches to give a photographer an on-ice level view of the game.  

Stroh is glad to have been asked for his input. 

“Because it all comes down to the whole experience for everybody, so if they include a photographer's expertise, then at the end of the day you're getting those clean, crisp, professional shots that the fans, the players, everybody are going to love.” 

As for what’s next in Scott Stroh’s photography journey, he says he is planning to keep taking photos for the Pistons. 

“I've made it abundantly clear that my home for junior hockey is the Steinbach Pistons. This organization has always treated me like I belong here, and it's a simple yes for me to continue that.” 

He looks forward to continuing to work with GAME ON Magazine and the teams he takes photos for. 

"It's going to be this wonderful juggling act between The Jets, the Pistons, and of course, Eastman Selects, the Manitoba Female Hockey League.” 

You can see the work of Scott Stroh and other photographers with Ice Wave Media on Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) @icewavemedia or check out GAME ON Magazine. 


With files from Dave Anthony