Fan-famous @cutlinejoe captures New England Revolution supporter culture

Most New England Revolution fans know him as @cutlinejoe – his moniker on Twitter and Instagram. Some know him as the guy with the camera in the stands, on the field and at tailgates.

For diehards at Gillette Stadium, though, he’s Joe Raviele, the one who captures Revs games from a specific angle: supporter culture. 

In fact, Raviele, a member of both the Rebellion and the Midnight Riders, doesn’t take photos of the game itself. Rather, his 90 minutes are spent shooting fans waving scarves, leading chants from the capo stand, and celebrating in the parking lot. 

To find out Raviele’s story, MLSsoccer.com caught up the photographer himself to hear about his start, and some of his personal favorite shots.

MLSsoccer.com: How did you first get into photography?

Joe Raviele: I’ve been into photography my whole life. Prior to my current career in IT, I had my own photography business for a while doing commercial and location shooting. Prior to that, I was a photojournalist and stringer for about eight years for various newspapers around Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

What’s your background, then, of how you became a New England Revolution fan?

Surprisingly enough, I would go to games every now and then one or two games a year. Then it was 2013 when my friends and I were at a game, and one said, "Why don’t we ever sit over in that section?" It turned out to be the Fort, so we sat there for one game and were hooked. The next season, in 2014, we started buying season tickets. 

What’s the genesis behind applying your passion for photography to Revs’ supporter culture?

It was an interesting conversation I had with Brendan Schimmel, who was running the Rebellion at the time. I said, "You guys don’t have a lot of pictures. If you go online there’s no Rebellion photo group or anything." There were some here and there, but not really in-depth coverage.

So I said, "How do you maybe feel about me taking some pictures at the next event?" It was a watch party at the Brass Monkey in Providence.

I took some pictures and ended up meeting some of the Revs’ front office staff. It came up in conversation like, "How would you guys feel about me going on the field and taking some pictures shooting back into the crowd?" That was around 2014, 2015, and it just snowballed from there. 

How have you seen the project evolve or change?

At first it was a, "Hey, let me take some pictures and see what happens" type of thing. I wasn’t even sure everything how would come out, with the angle of shooting on the field. You don’t see a lot of that. I started playing with it and one thing led to another where I did events outside of soccer and the Riders’ Golf Classic – they wanted to take photos for those. I do some away games, too. 

It developed from, "Let me see how this works," to, "This is pretty cool." People are reaching out to me if I don’t post the photos on Monday from the weekend – I hear about it on Twitter and Instagram. I have to say, "Guys, I have a job. This is my hobby."

What has the feedback been like from fans?

You’ll see them everywhere. They honestly pop up in random places. I get a few shots of the away supporters who come to Gillette Stadium, so a Minnesota newspaper reached out and said, "Do you mind if we use some of your photos of the supporters that came to the game?" That’s what it’s there for. I’m not getting paid for this. I have no desire to get paid for this. This is something I do. 

It’s fun, it’s a hobby and I tell everyone – including the Revolution – that they should feel free to use them. Just give me a photo credit and feel free to post my pictures. So yeah, I see them everywhere. I started putting a watermark on the bottom with @cutlinejoe. I started seeing stuff on social media and Reddit where it’s, "Who took this photo? Where do I find more?"

Where do you see this project going down the road?

It’s evolved organically, so it’s see where it goes. That’s really what it comes down to.

 

Five of @cutlinejoe's favorite fan photos

“This was my second attempt to get this photo – the streamers in the first one were anemic. I had asked everyone in the Fort to aim in my general direction and got quite a bit more than I bargained for. I was sitting down behind the goal and it took a good five minutes to peel away enough streamers for me to even be able to stand up.”


Photo by @cutlinejoe

“Being able to catch the raw emotion of moments like this is one of the things I love about being on the field. Since I am looking back toward the supporters and watching the game on the scoreboard, I can grab the instant reactions like these. As soon as the ball crosses the line I am already lined up to take pictures into the crowd.”


Photo by @cutlinejoe

“I took this on a rainy and unexpectedly cold night. Just looking at this photo makes my hands cold. This picture in particular always strikes a note in me about what it takes to be up on the capo. Cold, wet, miserable, tired – none of it matters. You have to push through and keep the supporters going.”


Photo by @cutlinejoe

“For me, this picture is just a great example of how the people you meet and interact with week after week at matches quickly go from friends to family. A member of The Rebellion was injured in a fall and everyone (supporters, players, front office) rallied around him. It was just a amazing, heartwarming sight to see.”


Photo by @cutlinejoe

“The advantage of shooting from the field is being able to catch these moments in the the Fort that no one really sees. I remember there was a short break in play and I quickly saw this opportunity. I have no idea what the joke was, but something tells me it was pretty good.”

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