Feb 6, 2024

If you’re a new follower and have been scrolling through my Instagram, you’ve probably seen some Steelers game day images and wondered how I got there – well this is the blog post to tell you all about it. But before I show you all the good photos, we gotta take it back to 2012, aka my college days, and the first year I worked for the team. I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and one day there was a posting in the career office for “Seasonal Fan Photographer”. I applied, having no idea what that meant, but excited for a chance at whatever it may have been. After weeks going by and not hearing anything, I finally got a call from a 412 number and it was none other than Karl Roser, the team photographer. I’ll spare you all the details of me jumping up and down outside of my classroom once offered the position fast forward to what I actually did – I walked around for 4 hours photographing fans who could later buy their photos online or see them in an online gallery via Steelers.com. I would wander through the tailgating area an 2 hours prior to kickoff and then up and down the steps for 3 quarters of the game. I did this for 3 seasons and honestly, it wasn’t a bad gig (but my legs were very tired and I would occasionally get yelled at for being in the way). Year 4 came around and the season was fast approaching but I hadn’t heard from Karl so you can imagine how nervous I was getting that I wouldn’t get to attend the home games every weekend. A week before the first preseason game, I get that call but this time my roll was changing – I’d be sitting ON THE FIELD the whole game photographing the score board. HELLO??? At the time, this feeling had me over the moon. I had never stepped foot on an NFL field and to have this opportunity was beyond anything I ever thought possible. **DISCLAIMER I am starting with my ‘first year as an intern’ photos, so please judge away. But they will definitely get better as this blog post goes on**

Take it to May 2016. I had eventually learned to reach out to Karl earlier rather than later about the upcoming season because once training camp came around, that meant the season was in full swing. I had emailed asking if he was still needing my help for the upcoming season and within a few hours, I was getting a phone call asking if I’d like to be his full time intern. I just about passed out right there mid shift at my coffee shop job. Another disclaimer – I didn’t know a thing about shooting sports and you’ll find that apparent in the first couple of images I’ve showed. The internship, which is a post graduate position, is a 9-5, M-F job where you’re photographing any and all community events, practices, going to training camp at St. Vincent College, and any other photography related projects that are requested.

I should also note, that while working at a coffee shop and a gym in downtown pgh, I was also shooting weddings (it was a lot to juggle, I won’t lie) so while excited, I was also nervous for what this meant for my own photography business. My first day came and soon after we were at training camp and for those that don’t know, the Steelers and all staff stay in the dorms at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for 3+ weeks. I somehow managed to work my own business, being an intern, and even open the gym I worked for (again, where this energy was I have no idea and can I please have some of that back in my 30s). This internship lasted for 2 years and while I always knew that sports was never really my end goal, I did know that I would always want (and hoped) to stay with the Steelers for the long term. Once my internship ended, Karl assured me that he would find a roll for me in some capacity on game day which takes us to present day!

On Sundays you’ll find me at Acrisure doing a multitude of things depending on the day. Sometimes I’m shooting the game but most days I’m the in-game editor which means the photographers that are shooting the game will send me photos real time and I’ll make sure to edit/crop/apply metadata to then send to the social media team and put on the team website. There are also times I get to travel which is something I never take for granted. Just recently I was also brought back on to the photography team part time to assist as an archivist as sorts. I help a lot with organizing and curating our photo archives for future projects.

I don’t take any of this experience for granted and I make sure to count every blessing that has come my way since 2012 in those days of being a fan photographer. I also thank Karl Roser (shoutout boss man) for even taking a chance on me in 2016 and offering me the internship when I VERY clearly did not know what I was doing in those early days of shooting at practice and game days. As the years progressed, I gained a better understanding of the game, where to stand during plays and how to find those key moments throughout the chaos. I plan on updating this blog post with new images from games I get to shoot, so if you’re a loyal follower (and made it this far reading) you can check back to see new game day photos. Here are photos – on and off the field – of me and just a few of the incredible coworkers I have been lucky enough to work with!!

Photos of me taken by some of the most talented humans I know: Karl Roser, Arron Anastasia, Abigail Dean, and Skyler Blanton. Cover photo taken by Abigail Dean.

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