COLUMN: The Quick Lane Bowl, through the lens of a photographer


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Finding out the Chippewas would be playing in Detroit and I would get to shoot photos was exciting to me, but my family was even more enthusiastic. My mom, dad, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandpa all packed up our two cars and headed out to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 28.

After the drive to Detroit, prolonged because of snow, we finally arrived at Ford Field. I headed to meet the photo team at the gate. At media check-in we were given a large neon photographer bib, which I wasn’t particularly excited to wear all day.

We headed up to the press box to see the stadium from up above. Growing up, my Papa always watched the Lions, so seeing Ford Field in person gave me the chills because I knew he would be proud of me for photographing on his beloved field. After observing from above, we headed down to the sidelines.

The football team was warming up with stretches and exercises. I decided to walk through the crowd of athletes to look for interesting moments and angles. 

Head Coach John Bonamego always shakes hands with each player before every game. I kept a close eye on him as I scanned the players for interactive moments. 

Monica Bradburn | Central Michigan Life

Head Coach John Bonamego watches a  play from the sideline on Dec. 28, 2015 during the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

After warmups, the players returned to the locker room. I looked around the massive stadium and saw many CMU students. We were really lucky to play our bowl game in our own state because it made photographing all the pumped Chippewa fans easier.

Being a photographer on the sidelines is one of the best workouts a person can get. Sometimes you get to one side of the field, then next thing you know the ball is intercepted and you have to run to the other side of the field to get to the next play. Not only do you have to make sure you get to the right spot for photos, but there are about 20 other photographers also racing to try and get a good spot. While all this is happening, you are also trying to dodge the huge ESPN camera hover bed.

I really look forward to timeouts, so I can look at my take on my camera. This gives me an idea of what my shots look like. Once I realize that I have “the shot,” my heart starts to race, my palms start to sweat and I feel this huge sense of pride. 

That feeling, my friends, is the best feeling in the world for me as a photographer.From going from photographing my hometown high school football team to being on Ford Field photographing college football is insane. If someone had told me as a senior in high school that when I became a sophomore at CMU I would be an assistant photo editor and have the privilege to shoot at Ford Field, I would have thought they were crazy in the brain. 

I can’t believe all the opportunities that have come my way as a photojournalist. Hard work, dedication and passion have helped to get me where I am today. Set a goal and accomplish it. I promise you it’s worth it.

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