Monday, February 21, 2011

Panthers (Kids Day)

This afternoon the Islanders hosted the Florida Panthers. In honor of President's Day, more importantly the day many have off work and school, it was Kids Day at Nassau Coliseumm. Besides the multitude of families, the Coliseum also welcomed other special guests. The Presidents. Many people recognize them from the Washington Nationals' organization, but for this weekend they made the trip to Long Island to take part in a special Presidents Race on ice.

I figured that with so many families in attendance, taking enough pictures would be easier than usual. Especially once I got to the staff room and was told that there would only be two interns today instead of our usual five. Last week I mentioned the different jobs that are assigned for each game. Today, I was assigned 10 gates to go through in the arena and take pictures. In addition to those, I was also given the High Five area and one of the performances during an intermission. The High Five area is where certain fans can come down in front of the locker room and high five the Islander players as they come on the ice at the start of each period. We stand and ask if the fans would want pictures taken for the website. It's actually a pretty cool experience to see people up close that you watch on TV all the time. It's also really nice to see how differently each player interacts with the fans. Some are very focused and aren't really very energetic towards the kids while others seem to love giving them all high fives.

Even though the Coliseum was filled with a record high crowd for the season, I still had a difficult time getting pictures done. On a normal night, I can usually take about 50 pictures before the game starts. Today I think my total clocked in around 20 at the most. The concourse was very difficult to walk through because of all of the kids as well as Sparky AND the Presidents. Normally, you could walk up to people in the concourse and ask if they would take a picture. Today, there was a lot of people, which is usually a great sign for Fan Photo, but so many people on one place made it difficult to stop and actually ask anyone.
It quickly became time for me to go back to the staff area and I had barely gone through 3 packs of cards. Normally, this would be a pretty big problem but there was another opportunity to take more pictures. On afternoon games, the Islanders offer something special for the younger fans. After the game 3 nets are set up on each side of the ice. Kids are allowed to come onto the ice, shoot, and hopefully score a goal. Ideally there would be 6 interns taking pictures (1 for each net), but we only have 4 cameras so we have to make due. Today there were only 2 interns so we really needed to keep moving back and forth. Personally, I liked this part of the job much more than any of the other things I've had to do. For the post game goals, we just take candid shots of the kids shooting on the net and then tell them to smile for a picture after they're finished. It's much easier to go through lots of pictures and there's no frustration of being told no. Too bad there are next to no afternoon games.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Audio Interviews

We'll be going on a bit of a tangent this week. At St. John's I'm currently taking a Mass Communications class. Throughout the semester we've been given various assignments which allow us to learn to utilize different technology used in communication. Recently, I was assigned to interview one of my classmates. The blog post today will be dedicated to that audio. As for my internship, the Islanders will be playing tomorrow afternoon which is sure to provide plenty of new experiences for me to talk about.

The following is a transcription of some of the highlights from the interview with my classmate Brendon Allen.

Q: What is your major?
A: Mass Communications with a minor in Photography.

Q: Do you know where you want to go with that major?
A: Um, not exactly. I kind of want to do some sort of online magazine or open a photography company or something like that.

Q: Do you have a job?
A: Yeah. Right now I'm working part time as a photographer and part time with T-Mobile. I basically help fit the customers for a phone that would help fit their every day life.

Q: Do you like doing that?
A: It's pretty fun. You get to see how much technology really gets to run the world.

Q: What is your blog about?
A: My blog is about my progression with my photography. It's me just talking about photo shoots I do, posting pictures, people I meet doing similar things. Also what kind of cameras or studio equipment to buy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Maple Leafs

When I arrive at the Coliseum, I walk down to the Executive Offices and meet in a conference room to receive my assignments for that particular game. Since Thursday was my second game, I walked around much more confident in knowing where I was going. I saw stairs to go down to what I thouht was the offices. Once I walked down the stairs, instead of seeing the door for the Executive Offices I saw about five of the players kicking a soccer ball around in a circle. I was never a hockey fan until I started dating my boyfriend, who is absolutely in love with the sport, but I've really grown to like it as well. Seeing the players that I've watched on TV for the past two years, some of which are my age, standing literally a foot away from me was a shock. I didn't want to look as starstruck as I was feeling so I just turned around and walked back up the stairs, trying not to get hit with the soccer ball. I figured that this would be a really good night if it started off with me bumping into John Tavares (the Islander draft pick from two seasons ago and current star) unexpectedly.

In general, there are four jobs to be given out each night. Someone needs to go around the concourse with Sparky, go up to the suites, go to the High Five area in front of the locker room, and finally go into the stands. After that, Sharon gives out the cards to give to the fans to see the pictures on the website. We are supposed to go through four stacks of about fifty cards.

On my first day, I started out with Sparky and then I got to go into the suites. Last week I said that getting assigned to go around with Sparky before the game was overwhelming and if I never had to do it again I would be a very happy intern. Thursday's game against the Maple Leafs completely changed my mind. Apparently the crowd for a weeknight game is a completely different scene than a weekend game. Even though going around with Sparky is a little bit insane, it draws people to you and you take a lot more pictures than if you're just on your own walking around. I wish I realized that before I asked to be given the suites the majority of the time.
That game was a rough game for me because I had a hard time getting the amount of pictures I was supposed to and I made a big mistake. Before we go out to the concourse for the night, we're supposed to take a picture of the first card of our first pack. After we finish that pack, we're supposed to take a picture of the first card of the next pack and so on. This is so when Sharon goes to upload the pictures to the website, she knows which ones belong in which gallery. By the time I finally reached my second pack, I was so discouraged about not getting very many pictures that I totally forgot about the picture of the card. This continued until I got to my third pack at the very end of the night. I felt awful when I went to tell Sharon what I did, but she wasn't angry. She just asked me to point out which pictures I thought were the start of each gallery. To be honest, I really wasn't sure. I tried to pick out where I thought I might have, but I really don't know if what I said was even close to accurate. Hopefully when the fans go to see their picture, they can find it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

First Day

I officially started my internship at the game last night. I really wasn't all that excited when I woke up because I wasn't sure what was coming. I'm not the biggest fan of starting new things until it actually happens.

I've been to more Islander games in the past two years than I can keep count of, so being at the Coliseum for a game was something I definitely wasn't a stranger to. This being said, it was strange to be inside at 5:00 for a game that started at 7:00 and the only crowds around were the other employees. They all knew exactly what they were doing and it was business as usual for them. Meanwhile I was there having no idea what to do. I really can't even imagine how out of place I looked. Once I got squared away and picked up my temporary credential at security, I realized my supervisor (Alexa) never told me where to go after I actually got into the building. So then I really must have looked out of place. I had to call Alexa and ask where to go, which I felt kind of dumb doing because I knew she was probably busy. She picked up after a couple of tries, and finally came to get me.
Everything actually went pretty smoothly after that. I got to meet the four other interns doing Fan Photo. I still felt a little out of place because they were all at least 4 or 5 years older than I am. Alexa brought me a huge stack of papers to look through and sign,then I got my picture taken for my real credential. I also got the t-shirt to wear into the crowds. The only size they had left was an XL, so it's a little bit more like a dress.

After all of the paperwork was filled out, we were broken up into different groups. They started me out going around the concourse with 2 other girls and the Islander mascot Sparky, a huge blue dragon in an Islander jersey. (I still haven't quite figured out how a dragon fits in with the Islanders, but the fans love him so I guess it works, right?) If I never have to do pre-game with Sparky again in my time with the Islander, I will be a very happy girl. It was so incredibly overwhelming to me, and there were 3 of us there! I have NO idea how I would handle that by myself. People literally just run around trying to get in and take their own pictures. People get insulted because there's really no fool proof way to figure out an order with so much going on. Kids aren't looking the right way. Drunk adults are touching and pulling Sparky's tail. It was just chaos. With that as my first experience into the Fan Photo Internship, I seriously wondered how I was going to handle doing that until April.

There's more to tell about all the things I got to do at last night's game, and hopefully uploads of some of the pictures I took to come later, but for now it's time to get ready for the Super Bowl party going on today. :)