Allie Ghisson: Photographing Bobby Dodd to Mercedes-Benz
Self-taught and dedicated, Allie Ghisson, a rising third-year undergraduate in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), serves as the photography editor for the Technique. The Technique is Georgia Tech’s weekly student newspaper and is known as “the South’s liveliest newspaper.”
Ghisson came to Tech wanting to participate in an activity unrelated to her STEM studies. English was a passion of hers in high school, so she joined the Technique as a student writer. She was also interested in photography, but what initially stopped Ghisson from starting was her lack of a camera. “I figured it was time to get my own camera, and Amazon had a deal,” she explained. “I got a little cheap camera to start out with and started shooting for the paper’s photography section.”
This humble beginning quickly led to a leadership position with the Technique. The former head of photography, a fourth year who wanted to show Ghisson the ropes before graduating, stepped down to be Ghisson’s assistant. “I had to learn really quickly, but she was more than happy to help,” Ghisson said, highlighting the important role her mentor played.
As photography editor, Ghisson learned on the job -- everything from using photo editing software to taking action shots at athletic events. She had to learn how to use manual shooting through iteration. “I would just shoot a couple photos, look down on my camera, notice they weren't right, change something, notice that it was even more incorrect, go back to where I was, change things and analyze how I got it to look the way I wanted,” Ghisson said.
For Ghisson’s first Georgia Tech football game, she had the opportunity to take action shots from the sidelines. Taking good photos of people in motion proved difficult, but she loved the challenge, which developed her sports photography skills. Ghisson is so passionate about her craft that she has never sat in Bobby Dodd’s student section. She prefers to be down on the field, next to the action, where she can hone in on photography.
As a result of the experience she had working on Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Ghisson has been given the opportunity to shoot in big stadiums like Mercedes-Benz Stadium. She has taken pictures for many big teams including Atlanta United and the Atlanta Falcons. She even got to work with the NFL communications team and take pictures at the Super Bowl LIII press conference.
Despite working with all these different teams, Ghisson is a Tech fan at heart. When given the chance to shoot a football game at the University of Georgia, she managed to sneak her Georgia Tech logo on her hat. She also has taken on the role of managing the Georgia Tech club hockey team. She began by taking pictures of the team and sending them to the social media manager. After attending most of the home games, she was offered a spot as a team manager.
“I really liked the optimization of ISyE, but I wanted to be creative outside all the STEM at Tech,” she noted. Ghisson’s extracurricular activities at Georgia Tech allow her to tap into her creative side which, for her, is important to maintain.
Besides giving her incredible opportunities and allowing her to learn photography skills that she can use forever, working for the Technique exposed Ghisson to the diversity of the student body. “The Technique has allowed me to explore all that there is to offer on campus,” she said. “Picking up the newspaper, even just to scan, can introduce you to different places and different people, and that is very important.”
Why does she do it?
“I get to explore the creative side of me with people who are extremely talented in their own fields. I get to learn and develop in ways that I wouldn't in the classroom. It is a method of escape. It is my friends, my free time, my passion,” Ghisson concluded.