There is nothing quite like The Big House. Or so I had been told. And until September 8, 2012 I had no idea what I was missing. The UofM vs Airforce game may be old news to most, but it is an experience I will never forget.
Through a very cool friend (yay for cool friends!), I was given the opportunity to photograph field side during the UofM vs Airforce game. What an amazing way to experience Michigan Stadium for the first time!
The outside view of the stadium is deceptive, looking smaller than it really is. Walking in (especially for the first time) you realize just how little of the stadium is visible from the outside. With an official capacity of 109,901, the inside fills to a roaring, unbroken sea of maize and blue – the perfect venue for an uninterrupted “wave” around the stadium.
Even before the game, the sidelines hum with a bustle of activity – players warming up, fans and media hyping up for the event. Two Falcons with their handlers worked the perimeter of the stadium allowing up close and personal encounters with the live birds. “The Bird” mascot was also in attendance, dancing, waving and posturing on the sideline. The Bird may be famous for his daredevil antics, but my favorite part on this day was his harassment of photographers. Sorry Greg, had to post the pic of you. Please forgive me. 🙂
As fans settled into their seats, and with photographers and videographers lining the sides/endzones, the Michigan Marching Band took the field. I positioned myself for an image of the Michigan Drum Major (the “Man up Front”) doing the infamous back bend during the pre-game performance. He graced my camera (and others of course!) with a big smile as his head touched the field.
The excitement in the stadium was palpable as the players ran onto the field, ready to play. I love to shoot football, but I am not much of a sports writer – a better story of the actual game can be found HERE (along with one of my images – yay!). I spent my time shooting, and reveling in the festive atmosphere complete with chanting from the student section, deafening roars with every touchdown and an occasional beach ball bouncing down from the stands – taking note of random things, like why I end up with photos of two different players missing a shoe during the game. Yes, one was Denard.
Whether you are a football fan or not, The Big House is something that should be experienced at least once in your lifetime. From beginning to end, a very exciting, exhausting experience – and one I hope to repeat. A huge thank you to Terry Jacoby for the opportunity, and to Greg S for watching out for this “lost puppy”.
|WT Duck – my photo assistant for the day|
Tressie Davis is a portrait photographer located in Chelsea, MI. Portrait work may be viewed at www.tressiedavis.com.