I realized I was passionate about creating content while playing JUCO football for Sierra College in Rocklin, CA. My teammates and I were trying to get our film out to four-year universities, hoping to earn a scholarship. I started making highlight tapes for my roommates and noticed how much they enjoyed them. Once they started to show our other teammates, everybody wanted me to make one for them.
At that point, I realized that I was doing more than just making highlight tapes. In a way, I was helping them tell their stories.
Back in those days, YouTube was my best friend. I would watch other teams’ highlight tapes or Vlogs such as Wiz Khalifa’s DayToday and search for how to create certain video effects that I liked or how to edit photos. I would have the tutorial videos up on my tv, and try to mimic what was being shown on my computer. I honestly didn’t even know that I could make a career out of creating content, I just wanted my guys to have content that they could be proud of and show their families.
After JUCO, I went and played for a Division 2 school in Nebraska, a state that’s obviously dominated by the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. We would always enjoy watching the content that they would put out, but we didn’t have anyone doing the same for us. After I finished playing, I figured I would be the one to create that content for us if no one else would. I had no idea about the technical part of it, I just went to Target and grabbed a Nikon D3400, and started shooting.
Once I finished playing football for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, I bought a camera and asked our athletic director if I could take photos at the games. They didn’t have an official position for me, but I was able to get a media pass for all of the football games. Shortly after that, other sports reached out about me covering their sports as well. I started to mix in some video with the photos and became an unofficial social media manager for the athletic department.
I’m driven by those days back in JUCO when the only media attention my teammates would get was the content I would create for them. During those times, I realized my purpose was to tell stories and showcase people in a positive light. Today, I now work for the Seattle Seahawks and my favorite pieces of content go beyond the field. For example, a lot of people get excited to see Geno Smith throw touchdowns, but I enjoy filming him at community events like when he’s visiting Children’s hospitals and he is making a kids’ day by challenging them to a video game. I wouldn’t trade capturing moments like that for any job in the world.
What is something you’ve created recently that you’re incredibly proud of and want to showcase — why is this a passion of yours and what do you want people to know about you and your work because of it?
Before the NFL’s first regular season game in Germany, German-born Seahawk Aaron Donkor led the team out on the field. I was able to run out behind him while the crowd roared and he waved the 12 flags across the stadium. This is one of the most special pieces of content that I’ve done, not only because it was a part of history, but it signified Aaron returning to his home country as an inspiration to everyone in that stadium.
What was your “I made it” moment? When you did something so amazing you couldn’t believe it or worked with a dream client, etc.
Experiencing the Seahawks/Buccaneers game in Munich, Germany was a special moment that I’ll remember forever. There was a moment late in the game when the whole crowd sang ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’, and all that I could think was “Wow, I can’t believe that a camera led to me being able to be a part of something so special.”
What are three fun facts about you?
What's one piece of advice you have for others just breaking into the industry?
Embrace your uniqueness. Of course, we all need to keep up with all the latest trends, but find a way to put your own spin on everything you do. Why fit in, when you can stand out?