MIC Q&A January 2024

UPAA Blog 2023-24 #12 2/13/24  (Text and photos by Erin Kirkland)



Who are you?      

My name is Erin Kirkland and I'm a born and raised Michigander who also works as a photographer for the University of Michigan. Before joining the staff at Michigan Photography, I worked both as a community journalist and a freelance photographer. When I'm not photographing, I'm convincing people that the television show The Bachelor is a sport, hiking, falling asleep on the couch by 9 p.m., or working on our cut flower farm — Bathtub Blooms  with my husband Sean.



How did you do that?       

Lens: 200mm

ISO: 64

Ap: 8

Shutter: 1/10


This was from the alumni pep rally the day before the National Championship game. Our client, Michigan Athletics, hadn't assigned anyone to cover it, but I went to get some additional color for our team's overall photo story. And, well, I was five the last time Michigan Football won a national championship.


Since I had some creative freedom, I spent the first half of the pep rally trying to cover basics before taking some time to get a bit 'weird.' I already had some clean, graphic images of the band, so I knew I wanted to try and play with the flow of their music.

I delivered all the photos in color but later decided to turn anything leading up to the game into black and white for my own social media use  mainly thanks to dim gyms and arenas.


What was this photo used for?   

I don't think Athletics has used it, but our team has a photo story from the championship run that includes photos from the pep rally. 


Was there an inspiration for this shoot?   

I'm always trying to make an otherwise 2D art more 3D. My goal is to always try to photograph a feeling, and sometimes that calls for a blur.


What kind of help did you need?    

It was just me at this event, but others from our team were busy documenting other parts of the championship  setting up remotes, scoping for the actual game, and getting some stadium scene setters. 


What were the technical difficulties to overcome?  

A dim, yellow gym and far too many people.


Would you approach it differently if you had to do it again?

I think I would spend some more time with it  try for even more movement, get closer, maybe add a flash.


Did anything stand out to you during the shoot?    

I also used an instant film camera for a side project, so I was also taking photos on a Fuji Instax. I was lucky to be supported by the rest of the team to lean into that creativity.



If you have a photo and story that you think would make a great feature next month please contact David.Dick@cwu.edu