This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the minor league affiliate of the New York Mets. My job was to photograph all home games for use on social media, the website and other marketing materials. I worked with the Director of Communications as well as other staff members and interns throughout the summer.
I'll start here: THIS WAS THE GREATEST SUMMER OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.
Moving on. Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we?
A typical work day consists of an hour-long drive to the ballpark approximately two or three hours before first pitch and leaving an hour or two after the game ends. When I enter the park, I drop off my camera equipment and Cyclones polo in the intern conference room and make my rounds to the supervisors to retrieve my game duties.
A normal day is just capturing action shots, fans, in-between inning contests and other fun things happening around the park. My favorite place to shoot is either the walkway behind home plate or the end of the Brooklyn dugout. When the day is over, I have a 45-minute drive back home and I get to do it all again next game.
If you asked me what the best part was, I wouldn't be able to tell you. Don't worry, i'm not going to leave without giving you some highlights.
(If you want more, follow my instagram @lflynnphotos *shameless plug*.)
While some days were ordinary, some were the exact opposite. The team tweets out that Noah Syndergaard's rehab assignment is in Brooklyn and the energy in the office skyrockets. On the day of the game, there were journalists, photographers and reporters covering the field. Get this: when all of these people saw me walking around with a camera and a Cyclones polo, they moved out of MY way. It's the little things that make you feel like royalty sometimes.
The visits didn't stop with Syndergaard. Todd Frazier, AKA Flava Fraz and the ToddFather, also came through Coney Island for a couple games. I had some conversations with him in the dugout, so you can imagine how I felt after that. Pitcher Jason Vargas made his rehab debut against the Yankees, which gave me the opportunity to travel across the water to Staten Island and shoot an away game.
I met a number of professional photographers during the course of my internship who taught me better ways to shoot and critiqued some of my own work. One person in particular was Gordan. He went out of his way to see how I was doing and told me stories about his own experiences. During one game, he came up to me in the dugout and asked if I wanted to take some shots with his professional lens. Now, I have a 70-$200mm lens which is affordable and gets the job done. Gordan however, has a 400mm lens which unlike anything i've ever seen before. The photo above is how one of my pictures came out with his lens. It's definitely one of my favorites.
After the players noticed my every day presence, they started to pose whenever I had my camera on them. Goofing off in the dugout became a pre-game ritual because they knew I'd always be ready to capture the fun.
I must have blinked, because just like the summer is over and i'm a week away from moving back in to Quinnipiac. In two months, I covered 32 games, drove over 2,300 miles and took about 16,000 photos.
This internship gave me a taste of what it is like to work in a professional environment and better my photography skills. I had the opportunity to meet a ton of people who gave me advice, taught me different tips and tricks and boosted my confidence.
Remember when i said I couldn't choose the best part? Well, I walked into my supervisor's office on my last day and he handed me a stack of the team's baseball cards. I thought it was just a nice parting gift until I took a closer look at them. A ton of the cards were from my photos. MY photos. I practically ran to the car to show my dad, who spent his summer coming to almost every single game with me. He flipped through them, looked up at me and said, "You did good, kid."
Yeah Dad, I guess I did.