Students learn photography at Saints games

Photo+credit%3A+Peter+G.+Forest
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Students learn photography at Saints games

Photo credit: Peter G. Forest

Photo credit: Peter G. Forest

Peter Forest

Photo credit: Peter G. Forest

Peter Forest

Peter Forest

Photo credit: Peter G. Forest

Skye Ray

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When shooting Saints football games, award-winning photographer David Grunfeld always remembers to bring two things — his camera and one of his students.

Grunfeld is a photography professor for Loyola’s School of Mass Communication, and he has been taking students to Saints games for two seasons. Along with teaching, Grunfeld serves as a photographer for NOLA.com. It’s a job he’s held for more than a quarter of a century.

With such credentials, Grunfeld teaches students about capturing New Orleans culture through a lens, and the most popular place he takes students is to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Grunfeld added Saints games to his curriculum to establish a networking opportunity for students.

“I want to be able to show them, in real time, a real journalist working under pressure so that they can feel and see the opportunity,” Grunfeld said. “A real-life journalistic experience.”

Mass communication senior Ryan Micklin was one of the first students to attend a Saints game with Grunfeld.

“It’s pretty cool to see how different areas of media work and operate,” Micklin said. “So for me, it was enlightening to be able to hang around professional photographers in the middle of the game.”

Hanging around photographers is not the only thing students get to do on the field.

Mass communication sophomore Max Kopenski was lucky enough to attend the Saints playoff game against the Eagles Jan. 13.

“Working beside David was an immersive, fun and very fast-paced experience,” Kopenski said.

While working with Grunfeld on the field, students have an important job — sending pictures to the NOLA.com newsroom to be uploaded in a timely manner.

“I had to stay on my toes and watch for David to hand me the SD card from his camera to directly upload to his portfolio,” Kopenski said.

Once the photos are uploaded, they are sent to the newsroom and published on NOLA.com’s social media accounts and website.

“I usually see NOLA.com’s pictures posted on Instagram and Twitter hours after the game but have no clue about the kind of process that these photographers go through to find a high-quality picture and then post it to social media,” Micklin said.

The game-day experience helps Loyola students gain a better appreciation for photography, according to Kopenski.

“David put in perspective what a real-life photographer does in the media,” Kopenski said. “I learned improvements on cropping and, most importantly, learned speed and timing are crucial for being a professional.”

Micklin believes the professional experience Grunfeld offers is truly worth it.

“If you’re trying to get a job in New Orleans media, or media in general, then I think this experience is one that every Loyola SMC student should want to partake in,” Micklin said.