As the LSU Football team plays in Death Valley in front of thousands of fans, MG Miller stands on the sidelines, camera in hand, ready to capture the perfect picture.
Miller, a freshman, works for LSU Athletics and takes photographs during game days and special events such as press conferences. But, even though she seems to have found her calling, she did not always want to be a photographer.
Until her senior year of high school, she could not have cared less about photography. Many girls at her school were always walking around with fancy cameras and trying to take “artsy pictures” but she was always opposed to this notion saying, “Just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you can call yourself a photographer.”
It was not until her parents bought her a camera for her birthday in late May that her mindset on photography changed.
“My love for photography was a complete accident,” Miller said. “The first time I ever used my camera was at the first Catholic High football game of my senior year. The only reason I brought my camera out there was to meet guys.”
After many of the games, these guys and some cheerleaders started asking Miller to take more pictures during the games. She began to build a portfolio and dozens of people began asking for photos. By the end of senior year, she was taking senior portraits and photos for all different sporting events.
It was during the early months of summer that her mother told her she should start thinking about an internship with LSU Athletics where she could build her photography knowledge.
“I got this internship with LSU because of Lee Scioneaux, a videographer for LSU Creative Services,” Miller said. “We are good family friends and he heard and saw my new love for photography and talked to Chris Parent about the idea of having an intern.”
She was hired within a week.
Since then, Miller got her training wheels when she began photographing LSU baseball games. Recently she has been busy juggling her freshman year of college with a very dramatic season of LSU Football and intense game days. She sums up her experience by saying, “Game day Saturdays are the busiest, messiest, and most hectic days of the year.”
Saturday. Death Valley. Me. Camera. Field. yes. pic.twitter.com/Kf2BvnpRG2
— MG (@MGEvangeline) September 8, 2016
The morning of game day, around 11:30 a.m., she is assigned her duties and set free to roam around and get shots of friends, tailgates and other events. About 30 minutes before the team walks down Victory Hill, Miller goes back to her office and gets all the equipment she will need for the more extreme action shots she will take later. She then goes to Victory Hill and waits for the team to begin their journey to victory. The quest for the perfect picture has begun.
When asking Miller if she has felt her job is rewarding, she nearly burst.
“I haven’t even started any photography classes yet at LSU, and I am already working with and learning how to use official equipment,” Miller said. “I am meeting so many new people it is so exciting. I’m already ahead of the game.”
It was not until the game against Ole Miss that Miller knew her lessons and dedication were paying off.
“It was a picture of Fournette charging towards the end zone,” Miller said. “Around the stadium you could hear fans wailing and shaking the stadium out of excitement. In those four long seconds, it was like they were cheering for me because I finally took a damn good shot.”
That was it. She finally captured the perfect picture.