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Class of 2017: Mason graduate takes aim at big-time sports photojournalism career

May 23, 2017   /   by John Hollis

Amanda Kathryn Bowen had a photography internship with the Redskins in fall 2016 and is now the MLB real-time correspondent at Nationals Park. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

Her friends would go on to be rocket scientists, mathematicians, biologists and the like, but George Mason University’s Amanda Bowen had her own path in mind.

And she knew by the time she was in high school that it would involve sports—hockey in particular.

“I wore my hockey gear all the time,” she said. “I talked about it all the time, I wrote about it all the time.”

That zest for sports has the 22-year-old Film and Video Studies graduate from Loudoun County ready to enter the field of big-time sports photojournalism.

A talented photographer and videographer, she got her first taste of that life while working with Russian Machine Never Breaks (RMNB), the Washington, D.C.-based ice hockey blog that covers the Washington Capitals and the National Hockey League.

“Once you get working with them, they kind of become your family,” Bowen said of working with the RMNB crew. “They were so legendary before, but, now that you’re a part of it, it’s still amazing what they do, but you’re not as starstruck.”

Bowen was a sophomore in September 2014 when she drew the attention of the blog representatives. They had seen her work and asked her to help cover Caps practices and events as a credentialed media member.

Bowen covered the 2015 Winter Classic Jersey Reveal at Nationals Park, and as a fan, covered the Winter Classic event itself.

“The blog is legendary around here,” she said of RMNB. “And the experience it offers and how engaged the fans are with reading and contributing to the photos and articles is amazing.”

Bowen begins working full time in June in a seasonal job as a Major League Baseball (MLB) Advanced Media’s real-time correspondent at Nationals Park, capturing fans and covering the visiting teams at home games.

The latest assignment comes on the heels of a prestigious photography internship with the NFL’s Washington Redskins last fall.

“Hockey is my first love,” Bowen said. “It drew me to sports as an avenue and genre for content creation, but since the Redskins internship and the position with MLB, I’ve expanded my horizons to enjoy capturing all sports.”

That fervor for sports and hockey in particular is what Thomas Britt noted right away about Bowen. The associate professor in Film and Video Studies also came away impressed with her willingness to respond to and incorporate peer and faculty feedback while editing the documentary for her senior project. Bowen’s hour-long fictional pilot in the writing class centered around a journalist who covered hockey.

“It clearly draws on a lot of her own awareness of the sport,” Britt said.

Bowen’s love for what she does likely played a big role in the Redskins’ decision last fall to hire her. She shot games at FedEx Field, practices at Redskins Park in Ashburn and community events attended by Redskins players. She even met up with the Redskins for a road game in Arizona in early December.

Bowen also works as a wedding editor for SkipperFilms, putting together video memories for couples to enjoy the rest of their lives.

“I love sports, photography and film,” she said, “So this is a great way to serve all my passions.”

Topics: Graduation