Great to be a Gamecock - A photobook by Sean Rayford

December 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

I came to the University of South Carolina in 1997 to study computer science. That sucked, I got my first "D" and then promptly changed to the ever popular major of "undecided." I spent a lot of the next four years at USC in the (now non-existent) darkroom of the Gamecock Newspaper and I still remember the phone call in my freshmen dorm room the night before the first game of the year. "Hey Sean, you wanna shoot the game tomorrow?" asked editor Adam Snyder.

 

 

I had never been to a college football game and hadn't even planned on going. It didn't interest me. And then I walked out of that tunnel that opened to 80,000 screaming fans and the monolithic structure of Williams Brice. My mind was blown and since that moment I've been captivated by the culture of Gamecock football.

 

 

I was thrown into a photo editor position my freshman year and shooting Gamecock sports was always a highlight. In 2001 I graduated with a BA in Media Arts, kept my job at the record store and published a gameday newsprint publication called Carolina Spectator. I funded the early issues from sales of illegal mix CDs.

 

 

Selling ads sucked the human out of me and Carolina Spectator lasted only one season despite it's mild success. It was a blast - we had a staff of 5-10 people and David Cloninger (who now writes for the State) had secured access to a journalism computer lab. We'd sneak down into the basement of the Coliseum during the wee hours of the night on Tuesdays before home games for publication nights. Good times.

 

 

If you would like more information on how to help make this book happen, please visit the "Great to be a Gamecock" Kickstarter page.

 

 

The images from this post were taken before the South Carolina Gamecocks won their fifth straight match-up against their instate rivals, the Clemson Tigers.

 

This fall I set out to create a documentary style book of photography about Gamecock football fans and photographed the action outside of Williams Brice Stadium before every home game. Help make this book happen via the  "Great to be a Gamecock" Kickstarter campaign.

 

 

 


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