Bryan Johnson Studio

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Saturday Down South


 
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In September of 2015 I was commissioned to document the culture of a game day in Tuscaloosa. That particular day was a big one : Ole Miss was traveling to Alabama and the ESPN Gameday crew was on campus. The first part of my day was spent capturing the entire experience of a Gameday show recording - the rabid fans, the iconic hosts, the guest picker (musician Eric Church) and of course Coach Nick Saban.

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The game was at night and I had most of the day to explore the campus and capture what ever I found interesting. I had no specific shot list - just an afternoon to wander amongst the bars, the frat houses and tailgates - meeting and photographing people along the way. 

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I entered Bryant-Denny stadium after the Walk of Champions, a game day tradition where the Bama players walk from the bus to the locker room through a sea of fans. Instead of a side-line pass, I was given a 50 yard line ticket to the game. My images from inside the stadium captured more of what it felt like to be at the game, not the game itself. I would love to do more of this type of work - capturing the raw environment that makes live sporting events so emotionally charged and riveting.

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Bryan Johnson