As my senior year comes to a close, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my college experience and how much I have changed. I went in freshman year thinking I knew exactly who I was going to be and what I was going to do. I always loved to write so I knew I was going to go into writing and become an investigative journalist. Life had other plans for me after I joined The Daily Gamecock and I discovered photography.
I had always been interested in photography but my parents wouldn’t let me get a camera. Understandably so, since my guitar has been collecting dust since the moment I got it. But after joining the paper, my parents saw that I was serious about photography and got me a camera for Christmas.
I signed up for every event I could to photograph. I just wanted to spend all my time doing it. I moved up at The Daily Gamecock becoming an assistant photo editor, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor in Chief. I grew immensely as a photographer and discovered how much I loved sports photography.
My love for sports photography came to its peak when I got an internship with the NFL as the photo intern. Moving out to Los Angeles was terrifying for me as I never really lived on my own so far from home but at the same time I was an exciting adventure that I couldn’t believe I was going on.
I got to photograph Michael Crabtree’s fashion show in Dallas the first weekend I was there, red carpet events, NFL Network shows, Hall of Fame weekend and a preseason game. In the moment I couldn’t believe it was happening, and looking back now I still can’t believe it happened.
The internship was something that definitely solidified that team photography was what I wanted to do. I love photojournalism and sports photojournalism, but there was something about the added access that I found made really impactful photos because players were comfortable and showed their true selves that they normally don’t show to the media.
I love sports photography because I love to photograph athletes and humanize them. I think that society gets carried away with the game and competition and the players’ extraordinary abilities and forgets that they are people. That’s something I love to capture.
I have shot for the Panthers and the Falcons working with their team photographer for games. I loved working with those teams because both teams have female team photographers. Sports photography is definitely a male dominated field, but the number of females in sports photography is on the up. There are only three female team photographers in the NFL and I’ve already shot alongside all three. I hope to one day be a part of that group, and help to raise that number up.