I’ve been pretty used to media access for everything I’ve ever done, because I’ve only ever done it as part of the media. This summer, it’s as ‘part of the team,’ for want of better term.
Months ago, I grabbed a drink with a teacher from the high school I graduated. Somehow, after a few beers and a shot, he convinced me first to come speak to his class, and second, to spend my 2015 summer taking photos of the inaugural season of AFC Ann Arbor, and to start with a team meet and greet.
A few weeks into the season, here I am: Two home games, two travel games, and prepping to take a drive to Milwaukee for travel game number 3. But I’m used to all that nonsense.
What’s new and exciting (and ultimately a little frightening) is the idea that I’m somehow trusted to do more than take photos. I joke (mostly joke, anyway) that I get to play soccer mom. ie: pick up the suburban (which is a nice car, by the way, if you’ve never driven one. try it), pick up the food, pick up the players, and then drive. I get to know everyone by name (or at least I’m almost there), and they get to know me. I actually get to talk to players and pretty much go wherever I please, which is new. And exciting.
I can’t say I will ever go back to wanting only media access after this.
Goals and celebrations, action shots, reaction shots. It’s all the same. But there’s a whole new aspect of community building amongst wonderful people: coaches, players, owners, residents, fans. Everyone supports everyone. Everyone cares about making something good.
And I’m glad I get to be there.