Between the hedges for the first time

It was my very first Georgia game, and I had an opportunity many teenagers and UGA fanatics could only dream of: standing on the field as a member of the press. Many people would have rather watched the game from the sidelines than take pictures, but I found taking pictures of the game one of my most enjoyable moments.  

Before setting foot on the field, I paused to take my first pictures inside the stadium. My own imagination did not do the stadium justice; the field and stadium, although empty three hours before kickoff, felt warm and inviting. 

Walking through the hedges for the first time and stopping in the endzone, I reflected on how lucky I was to be there. Then  I realized that we were missing the Dawg Walk. 

My first encounter with the team went right in almost every way imaginable. I snapped pictures of the walk, and I got a high five from Brian Herrien that hopefully went unnoticed. I couldn’t help myself. At this point, I could have sworn that it was all a dream, and while I talked with my friends Kirby Smart walked past us. 

These events were only the beginning of a day full of precise photography and scraped knees between the hedges. With the game beginning at noon, the seats went from common gray to a raging red in what felt like an instant. It was pure excitement. 

By the third quarter, I had taken seven hundred photos. I enjoyed being on the field, but I reminded myself that this privilege had a purpose and I was here to “prove my stripes.” I ended up walking out of the game with nearly 1000 pictures, most of which gave me confidence in my ability to navigate through the settings of a camera to adjust when needed. 

At the end of the day my legs, knees, and arms were aching, but the knowledge, experience, and fun that I had between the hedges will be one of my most memorable UGA football moments.