During my junior year on staff as an editor of Mountain Vista Media, I got the opportunity to cover our men’s basketball team.
While at the games, there would also be a CHSAA Now photographer, Matt Mathewes, that would share the end of the court with me. During the Mountain Vista games, he would show me tips and tricks on how to set my camera up in the best possible way and let me know which angles allowed for the best shots.
Before the season was over, I was able to intern for him. My job description was pretty vague and allowed me to gain experience photographing, editing and publishing. I also helped Mathewes to set up the slideshow and professional portraits for the varsity team’s banquet.
While Vista didn’t make it past the second round of playoffs, I was still able to shoot the 3A State Championships thanks to my job. I shot the second day of both the girl’s and boy’s playoff and championship games.
3A Final Four
3A State Championship
Because I wasn’t directly employed by CHSAA Now, I didn’t gain any bylines for some of my work, which can be detrimental to the work of a young journalist such as myself. Despite this, I chose to place this in my portfolio because I pride myself on all of my work, even if it isn’t fully appreciated. The lack of recognition for this was upsetting because I also wasn’t getting paid much (only about $3 an hour, which was not the original plan). Because of these issues, I stopped working for Mathewes and focused my work back on Vista Now before I began searching for opportunities elsewhere.
Still, I’m more than thankful for the experience. Driving up to Golden for the games and staying hours after they ended to publish the photos really taught me something about timeliness that I’ve since tried to incorporate into my own reporting. Since my junior year, I try to get photos and stories out the night of the event or the morning directly after depending on what exactly it is.
My experience shooting the men’s basketball team professionally also led me into the opportunity to give my photos over to the team mom during this year’s season for the programs and rosters.