This fall, I am the Daily Trojan's football photographer. USC sends me to all the road games to photograph them for the newspaper. It's a job I also had last year, and it is definitely the coolest gig I've ever had.
It is also the one I get asked about most frequently. I thought it would be fun to share a bit of what I do on the job. I did some extra documentation of the experience. Here's a quick peek at what it is like to be a photographer for USC's greatest tradition.
With bags packed, we drive to LAX Friday morning, usually leaving the apartment by 6am. I travel with the sports writers from the DT, and sometimes the yearbook. I'll travel light--camera gear, laptop, clothes. Never any checked luggage.
Sunrise view of Los Angeles
Getting myself pumped up with some Susan Boyle. Thanks United!
Landing with a perfect view of NYC
When we land, we head straight to the hotel to set up home base for the weekend. USC always puts us up in a nice place--check out that sweet swiveling TV. From our window we had a view of MetLife Stadium 5 minutes away, where USC was playing.
Once we get settled, the evening is ours. I always try to see as much of the city as I can. On this night, I paid a visit to the 9/11 memorial in West Orange, New Jersey, where locals watched the towers fall. The night view of the NYC skyline was breathtaking.
On the book, the names of local citizens who lost their lives
First thing Saturday morning, we head to the stadium. We usually arrive 2 hours before kickoff. I enter through a separate media entrance, where my press credentials are verified and my bag is searched and tagged for on-field access.
Heading up to the press box to drop off my laptop and bags.
No matter how early I get there, there is always a line for the free food.
Lunch at MetLife Stadium includes pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and cake. Every stadium serves something different, and for the record, if there was a AP Top 25 poll for stadium press box food, USC would definitely NOT be ranked.
USC, ESPN, CBS, Fox Sports, and all the news outlets getting set up.
Time to head down to the field. This is the glamorous tunnel to the field.
My field pass
Once I'm on the field, I'm working nonstop. Even before kickoff, I'm taking pictures of the game atmosphere. Here, the Syracuse band prepares to take the field.
Special guests Pop Warner youth
Mr. Marc Sanchez makes a special appearance
Over the course of the game I'll take around 1500 photos. I follow the action along the sideline, so I'm constantly walking as the ball moves down the field.
Photographers' row. These guys are packing heat; the guy in front is holding around $6000 of camera.
If I'm standing in the right place at the right time, this happens, and I get texts from everyone back home. Thanks to Sam for sending me proof of my 15 seconds of fame.
As soon as the game is over, it's back to the press box to edit and upload the photos to the web. Fans trickle out, and by the time I finish post-game work an hour later, the parking lot is empty.
8 hours later, it's time to say goodbye to MetLife.
Once the work is done, I'm cut loose and the city is mine. I take every chance to sightsee. A good friend from NJ picked me up and took me out for a night on the town.
My friend took me to this WEIRD thing. She described it as Argentinian interactive performance art. But it was WEIRD. I took some video. Watch it and see what you make of it. It was really, really awesome.
The next morning, it's back to LA on a 10am flight to start another week of school. But coming back is just the start to another countdown--I do it all again this weekend in Palo Alto, and for the rest of the road games this season in Seattle, Tucson, and Salt Lake City. I'm so fortunate to watch such a historic season from this perspective, and I'm glad to be doing work that I can share with other people.
The official slideshow of my photos from the game is here. Check it out and give the DT some love. They're definitely making my senior year unforgettable.