Gabriella RicciardiScarsdale, NY
Academic SchoolCommunication & the Arts
Student Gabriella Ricciardi ’20 has the chance to work with the Jets on the sidelines. During the fall 2018 semester, Ricciardi was a photography intern for the team. She started out photographing high school games for the Hudson Valley Sports Report and found a real passion for the work. From there, Ricciardi, a lifelong Jets fan, started to follow Jets lead photographer and cinematographer Dan Szpakowski on Instagram. She loved his work so much that she decided to reach out. “I put myself out there and told him how much I loved the work of capturing moments. I explained that I’m a completely self-taught photographer and that I was hoping to be considered for an internship.”
To her surprise, Szpakowski wrote back. He asked for a portfolio and then scheduled a phone interview. “The interview clinched the deal,” said Ricciardi. “Dan is also self-taught, and we had a lot in common.”
Ricciardi spent the semester at Jets practices, home games, and community-sponsored events. “The team is so involved in the community and it’s great to see that and be part of it,” she said. A recent project included team members volunteering at a food bank in Harlem. Her semester was so successful that she was offered a freelance position, and now she’s paid to photograph events as needed.
For Ricciardi, the experience has been life-changing. “There’s no question in my mind. After graduation, I want to stick with photography and sports.”