Browns game!!

Last Friday night I got the opportunity of a lifetime, something that I have been dreaming of since a little girl. That opportunity is the chance to be on the field and photograph a professional football game. Football is one of my favorite sports and despite the Browns poor record, I am still a die-hard fan.

So, when I met the Browns beat reporter at training camp, he asked me if I was interested in shooting the game and of course my answer was heck yes! I talked to the photo editor and asked him if I could shoot it and he said I could but there would also be another photographer down there from the paper because they normally send two people down to shoot the games.

That day finally arrived when I was getting ready to shoot the game and as it turns out I was the only photographer from the paper shooting it because it was also the start of high school football and that is a huge thing for the paper. That is probably their biggest sport they cover just because high school football is a huge area sport for Northeast Ohio.

Anyway, first I had to get down to the game which was a story in itself because I was taking a couple of friends down to the game too who just happened to have seats they bought for themselves. Once we made it on the freeway, just my luck there was a major accident in the right hand lane so that slowed us down again. Even though the accident had been cleared for the most part, traffic was still slow because of people gawking at it and trying to find out what had happened.

Once I arrived at the game and got through the media gate, I got my official NFL photographer’s vest on and headed to the media room to drop my stuff off and grab some food. So, I got some food and then started talking to the other photographers there and I told them that I was taking this sports photography class this semester, which I am and I told him my teacher’s name. And the photographer said he’s here at the game. So I introduced myself to my new photo teacher while I was at the game. Not many people can say that sentence.

After introducing myself, I made my way onto the Browns field for the first time. That was an outerbody experience to me. It is such a strange feeling to finally be on that field, right where you belong. So, I started looking for feature shots the paper might like and began shooting away towards the crowd. Those types of shots pretty much mean child and parent, so found one right away and snapped away. Afterwards, I went over to the other side for the kickoff and learned a very important lesson about Browns games.

Because there are two cameras built into the stands on the ground level, you have to duck every time you walk past one of them. This is something that I did not know until it was pointed out to me. Oh well, we all make mistakes. The game itself was pretty uneventful. The first half was really where the most starters would play since it is preseason. At halftime, I went into the media work room to start editing my photos which I finished after the game was over.

However, during the second half I made a major mistake. It is important to note that most photographers carry two bodies with two different lenses on them when they are at these games for different reasons. We carry a long lens for action that is far away and a small lens for action that is up close and personal.

Well, I was primarily using my long lens, but then there was a touchdown right near me and I mean like I moved my head and there it was. I had both of my camera bodies on and focused and everything, but during the moment where I should’ve gotten the shot I had my other body around my neck and missed the shot! This is an important lesson for me to learn because that could have been the play of the game. If this was a real game and not a preseason game and that was the deciding play, my editor would not be happy with that result.

Fortunately, it was just a preseason game so it is not a big deal. Anyway, this is my last post as a News-Herald intern because I am back at school. But, I will still update this post whenever I can with details of my new job!! Thanks for following my adventures as an intern!

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Vacation Photography

Hello to all of my readers out there. I am sorry I haven’t written lately but I was out on vacation with my family in Southern California. This was my first time in Los Angeles and second time in Cali total.

Anyway, there is something that I wanted to discuss that’s been on my mind and that is vacation photography. This term to me means capturing either wildlife or beautiful scenery or anything of that sort while on a vacation. It really bugs me when people take a lot of pictures and then they never do anything with those pictures besides let them take up space on their hard-drive.

That is why I have adopted a different type of shooting strategy when I am on vacation. I don’t want to take pictures just for the sake of taking pictures, I want to photograph. I want to really capture the feeling of a place and not just a bunch of candid shots. It is something that bothers me because then anyone could take a photo and call themselves a photographer but they are not. To be a photographer, you have to capture a moment and a place.

Some of the places we went to were pretty amazing though including Hearst Castle, home of famed billionaire William Randolph Hearst; a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; Santa Monica Pier and beach; Venice Beach, In & Out Burger, Griffith Observatory and the list goes on and on.

Here are some photographs of mine to help explain my concept of vacation photography.

Cleveland Browns Training Camp

On Wednesday, I got the chance to photography another Cleveland professional sports team: the Cleveland Browns. This was another thing that I have been dreaming of for awhile. See, when I was younger I would go to training camp with my family out in Berea. Actually, I used to hate it because it was so hot and I am not a fan of heat. Over time, I have gotten used to it, but that’s getting away from the point. I have seen the photographers and reporters and video crews before at training camps, so getting to be one of those people was something extremely awesome for me.

Before I get to training camp though, I want to explain a little something about getting there. I was a little bit nervous about going there even though I had a parking pass because I had absolutely no idea where the media parking was. I knew it had to be in front of the building, but i had no idea where that was. Fortunately, I realized that if I went down this one street I might be able to make it there and I did! I was finally at training camp as a member of the media.

The first thing I did when I got there was go to the media room and drop my stuff off. I had my laptop and all of my camera gear with me so I could send my images back from right there. I knew I wanted to get them in as soon as I could and knowing they have free wifi made that possible. After I put my stuff down, I waited for the reporter so I could know who I needed to get pictures of. There are a lot of Browns players, so it can be confusing if you don’t know who you are looking for.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t there yet. I went outside to see if maybe he was there and wandered around the entire area of training camp and I still couldn’t find home. So, I decided to go back to the media room to see if he was there and low and behold there he was. So, we finally took off for the camp together so I could get the shots he wanted. Once I got settled, I had to quickly unsettle though because all the way at the far end of the camp was team majority owner (for right now) Randy Lerner talking to president Mike Holmgren.

Lerner has only been spotted once before at camp, so this is kind of a big deal. I had to be on the move at all times to try and get a shot of him because he was moving quickly towards the door. Luckily, I was able to get a shot of him once I put my mono-pod leg down for a second. Then, I had to keep moving and running to be able to get a better shot of them.

After I got a shot of him, I moved around to the other side where all of the action was going on. If I had photographed from the other angle, then I wouldn’t have been able to get as clean a shot just because all the other players would be making a sort of “wall”. So, with that in mind I went to work taking pictures from all sorts of angles and all over the place. I still saw my parents and my sister there because they had just randomly decided to come to this practice too.

Then, it was all a matter of getting the best shots that I could get with the players availability. I tried to cover my butt as best as I could so I could for sure get the pictures that the reporter wanted. That happened to be Joe Haden that day. However, I also got a really nice shot of tight end Alex Smith that I liked a lot because he was outstretched and able to see all of him.

This is also my last post during my internship because this is my last day. I want to say thank you for all of you who followed me on my adventure. I will still be blogging about my experiences at school because I have a job there already lined up but not as an intern anymore!

P.S. I just photographed the new Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam so we will see what happens there!