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|| News Item: Posted 2011-10-27

INTERN DIARIES: Portland Timbers
Lesson learned: Be prepared

By Miranda Chrislock

Photo by Miranda Chrislock / Portland Timbers

Photo by Miranda Chrislock / Portland Timbers

Troy Perkins celebrates by lifting log post game at Jeld Wen Field in Portland, OR on May 6, 2011.
I interned from April 23rd through June 14th for the Portland Timbers under their team photographer Craig Mitchelldyer. Right away I have to say this was an amazing experience both from a personal and professional standpoint. I feel extremely proud to say that I enjoyed every second of my time with the Timbers. Craig was wonderful to work with, never taking advantage of his interns and always providing me with great opportunities to shoot, meet new people and just take in the vast world of professional soccer.

I covered everything from fundraisers and meet and greets, to elementary school assemblies, to the unveiling of the Timbers themed Alaska Airlines airplane and the release of the adiPower Predator shoe, and even assisted with portraits and clothing photography.

And of course, game days. The workflow of these days seems intimidating at first, but is so exciting and really becomes second nature. We would always arrive early to set up our work stations and get shots of the stadium and fans, team warm up, national anthem and team photos. Generally, during the games I would be responsible for photographing goalie and defensive action, running cards, some light editing and submitting images to be used on facebook. We always managed to leave the stadium after the team had already showered and left. The immediate editing is to keep fans who could not attend the game updated on how their team is doing. Then there were edit and caption days, where we spent several hours perfecting the images and labeling who was in them to send in for future stories. Towards the end of the internship I was able to shoot offensive action with Craig. Although the defense and goalie are quite exciting, I felt like being on the same side as Craig was some sort of promotion, and was proud that I could handle being anywhere he put me.

Photo by Miranda Chrislock / Portland Timbers

Photo by Miranda Chrislock / Portland Timbers
I have had the same rules and tips fed to me for three years at Brooks, and as much as I believe my instructors, this internship really tied everything nicely together for me and showed the real life applications of the things I had been studying. For the portrait shoot, we brought tons of equipment and spent 2 hours setting up and only spent a total of about 20 minutes actually shooting; athletes are very busy people and do not want to feel like you are wasting their time, you have to have a gameplan before the shoot and have everything 100 percent set up so that you can make the most of the time you have with your subjects. It is incredible that even with minimal time you can still get several unique and interesting looks. A few other lessons that will definitely stick with me are that the turnaround time of images has to be very quick. No matter how tired you may be, the post work has to be done immediately. Also, you have to be able to anticipate what kind of images people want and tailor the images you send to the happenings of the game. If there is a new player, you have to get a lot of shots of him. And finally, not everything you shoot is going to be extremely exciting, but there’s never an excuse to get lazy or make an event less of a priority. You always photograph at the top of your game and it will pay off. One event I wasn’t too excited for was a Memorial Day event. There were a few booths set up and a little soccer tournament for kids and teens. I wanted to do as many different things as I could in my time with the Timbers, and for me this was another opportunity to leave behind my footprints.

One thing I remember personally is the admiration and awe I felt before every game. The size and pristine condition of the stadium would set the stage for the rest of the evening, then to see and hear it come alive with the energy of the fans and athletes, and to know that I was a part of it all, playing my role as photographer and assistant. I have really come to appreciate the persistance and drive that athletes possess for what they do and I love being part of the team by freezing the action and capturing the essence of the sport. With camera in hand I learned I can not only endure, but sincerely enjoy 14 hour days and weekends of shooting in the rain if it means I can be apart of the professional sporting environment. My internship with Craig and the Timbers has had a huge impact on me and solidified my goal of photographing professional soccer as a career.

You can see samples of Miranda Chrislock's work at her Sports Shooter member page: and at her personal website:

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