SF Giants Intern Hears a Sports Photography Career Calling

By ED CARPENTER, OFFICE OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Posted Fri, 09/25/2015 - 16:21

When San Francisco Giants superfan Allie Prawdzik ’17 landed an internship in June photographing some of the team’s biggest moments, she had to pinch herself to be sure she wasn’t dreaming. 

The Bay Area native and USF fine arts major has photographed Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart singing the national anthem, Pixar founder John Lasseter throwing out the first pitch, and Olympic ice skating gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and family for a celebrity fan series.

USF News wanted to know what it’s like interning for the reigning World Series champs.

Q: Why did you choose to intern in the first place?
A: I thought it was a great starting point, especially because I was inexperienced in a real professional setting. It’s been a perfect position to get my foot in the door without the pressure of a full-time job. I knew it would be okay to make mistakes, because I’m there to learn and grow.

Q: How did USF prepare you for your internship?
A: Something that has really made a difference in my academic experience here is the professors. They care. When they care so much they are investing their time and effort into my success, my participation and effort aren’t just about me anymore. They motivate me to push myself.

Q: What are your internship responsibilities?
A: I started out shooting the various pregame special event parties such as heritage appreciation days and fundraising events. Then I was given the responsibility of shooting all of the pregame events that take place on the field: the national anthem, the first pitch, and any performances. 

I edit and upload the photos for various promotions and media outlets, including the Giants’ official blog and social channels where most of my work is posted. I work every home game.

Q: What’s been your biggest accomplishment?
A: I photographed Kristi Yamaguchi and her family at a game, and it appeared in the Giants magazine. It was the first time I saw my name in print; it was a surreal experience, to say the least.

Q: What have you learned?
A: I’ve obviously improved my camera skills and camera knowledge immensely. I’ve also begun to identify my style, and I’ve been introduced to what I consider to be my dream job: being a sports photographer. The Giants photography staff has given me the tools to open doors to a future in sports photography

I’ve also learned to get out of my comfort zone and take more chances. I am generally a shy person, but this job has given me a lot more confidence — not only in my photography but in myself.

Q: What impresses you about the Giants organization?
A: Coming into this job, I was worried. The Giants are a big part of my life, and I didn’t want to get into the heart of the organization and find out that it wasn’t so great.

Luckily, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I can honestly say that every single person that I’ve encountered has treated me with the utmost respect and hospitality. They are all there for the same reason, their love of the game. That is what it is all about, in my opinion.