THIS VFL season, I had the privilege of working with the Northern Blues. As a student at the Carlton College of Sport, I was offered this opportunity as part of my 100 placement hours through the diploma.
The opportunities I received were to take photos and write for their social media channels. As I have a particular interest in media, the Club catered to my interests and gave me a shot at working Northern.
This year was one of the best of my life purely because of the environment the Northern Blues offered me, and it was something that I wouldn’t have had the chance to do if it wasn’t for the Carlton College of Sport. After a few games of taking photos in pre-season, the Club asked me to continue shooting for the rest of the year.
As a born-and-bred Bluebagger, my passion for Carlton has always been close to me — it was a key reason behind my interest in the Carlton College of Sport. However, what came as a surprise to me was the amount of investment and passion I would soon have for the Northern Blues.
It’s easy to think that it’s just a VFL program, but it’s so much more than that.
The staff, the volunteers, the coaches, the players and supporters were so welcoming and so friendly to me: I felt like I was a part of the team as soon as I walked in the door. It was so surreal to have the players get around my photos and have them asking me for specific photos of them (I’m not naming who).
Becoming more and more accustomed to the job and the playing group, I got the call-up to take photos of AFL training on Thursdays — this happened in between classes. I never would have thought that after starting out in March, I would be having my photos published of Patrick Cripps, Jack Silvagni and Sam Walsh at training just four months later.
Once I got more comfortable in the role, I also got the chance to draft up some articles for the website, some of which ended up getting published.
One of the highlights of working with the one team is the sense of belonging and connection that you feel going to every game and cheering them on. I saw the emotion of the players and coaches through the lens and tried to capture them the best I could.
It was also exciting to meet past VFL players, current AFL players and coaches at events and on game day. Capturing a number of club events throughout the year, the highlight was clearly meeting Anthony Koutoufides, who was MC at the Northern Blues’ Seafood and Auction Night. As a childhood hero of mine, it was surreal when he asked me to send him my photos from the night. I also had the privilege of taking photos at Marvel Stadium and the MCG, getting the behind-the-scenes look at the media boxes and pre-match routine in the change rooms.
Through the season, I saw the big wins, the tough losses, games decided by a point and games decided after the siren. It was a season I can’t and won’t forget and I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given.
When I was asked to choose my favourite photos from the season, I was told to keep it to 10. Sixteen photos later, here we are.