"During the month of April I attend every (home) ballgame and try to get every player shot by May 1," Vaughan said. "Our goal is to get the images done so you can get the (baseball) cards back by the middle of June" so they can be sold in the gift shot at Prince George's County Stadium and online by the team.

Beyond sports photos

Nearly 15 years later, Vaughan is still taking photos of Baysox players, several of whom have worked their way up the minor league ladder and made it the Major Leagues. That includes current All-Star catcher Matt Wieters, who played with Bowie in 2008, and Orioles All-Star closer Jim Johnson, who was with the Baysox in 2005 and 2006.

One of Vaughan's favorite Bowie players was second baseman Brian Roberts, who played for the Baysox in 2001 and has made return trips during rehab assignments during an injury-riddled career with the Orioles. He has also taken photos of former Bowie infielder Manny Machado, who was called up to the Orioles on Aug. 9 and hit two homers in a game Aug. 10 at Camden Yards. Vaughan was also in Bowie Aug. 14 for the Baysox debut of pitcher Dylan Bundy, one of the top prospects in the minor leagues who had been with the Frederick Keys.

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Vaughan has expanded his photography to non-sports as well, including assignments to cover the Million Mom March. "That was exhausting, but then you go home and see your images on CNN," said Vaughan, who has made the transition from print to digital as a photographer. "The Mall was packed. That raised the hair on your neck."

Vaughan was on his way to Redskins Park in Northern Virginia on a Tuesday in September more than 10 years ago to take photographs at a luncheon for team wives put on by Marty Schottenheimer, the Redskins coach that season.

"When I got there they said the facility was closed and they were fearful of an attack," he said. Vaughan had not listened to the radio in his car and was unaware of the 9/11 attacks. Soon after, he got a call from his friend, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency and told him to get to the Pentagon as soon as he could.

"I still had no idea. I looked in the sky (near the Pentagon) and saw this great black cloud," he recalled.

Vaughan was able to use his photography credential through Corbis/Sygma, a New York company that uses his images, to get close enough to take photographs of the burning Pentagon. One of those images has been displayed this summer at the Newseum as he was among the first photographers on the scene.

Vaughan, who is single, grew up in Colmar Manor in Prince George's County and graduated from Bladensburg High School in 1965. Soon after that he began working for the Montgomery County Fire Department and was based in Kensington during his tenure. He lived in Beltsville before moving to Laurel in 1989 and remains a member of the International Association of Firefighters.

After one career trying to put out fires and save lives, he is now enjoying his work in a less stressful field.

"I am loving this," he said.