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Behind The Camera

Behind The Camera

Wilson, a JCHS Graduate, Works As Photographer for UGA Athletics

Olivia Wilson sits at a table inside the media workroom on the bottom floor of the University of Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum, going through photos she just took during the men’s basketball team’s warmups before a game against the Auburn Tigers. The tall, 6-foot-1 undergraduate student at the University of Georgia, and graduate of Jackson County High School, is there as an employee of the UGA Athletic Department. 

After transferring to UGA last winter, Wilson has covered basketball, baseball, softball and tennis for the athletic department. A dream job for a student who loves athletics, and is pursuing a career in sports media.

“This last semester was crazy,” Wilson said. “The first game I covered was Georgia-Auburn basketball. UGA won and it was fabulous. But I have mainly done basketball, softball, tennis and baseball. I, essentially, on a game day, I’ll go to class and then I go home and get my things together. My boss keeps the cameras and I get there an hour before, get things set up. UGA athletics feed us and I get a lot of shots.”

Wilson’s sports photography passion started when she was a student at Jackson County High School. Athletic director Brad Hayes had a select group of students tasked with working with the athletic department. It was there her passion for working in sports media commenced. 

“That is where I figured out where I wanted to do sports journalism,” Wilson said. “The athletic director at Jackson County made a class for me and four other people, and we were running the website for Jackson County. I would take the pictures, this person would write, this person would make a video. Coach Brad Hayes wanted to have another specific class and he saw we all were really passionate about it. That is where I figured it out.”

After graduating from JCHS in 2020, a year Wilson said was extremely hard due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wilson attended Georgia College in Milledgeville. She worked in athletic media for the Division II school, traveling with the school’s baseball team to the conference tournament. She even had a chance to work as the team photographer for the Macon Bacon summer baseball team.

“There is nothing better than working at a baseball field in the middle of summer,” Wilson said. “It is just so fun.”

Wilson will once again be working the sidelines and baselines for UGA athletics this year. She plans to cover UGA football in September. She had an opportunity to cover the team’s spring football game in April. Wilson says she is expected to graduate from UGA’s Grady College of Journalism in May 2025 with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Human Development. That’s when she plans to turn her part-time undergraduate job into a full-time career.

“I would love to do something with athletics. I would love to do what my boss did at Georgia College, where he was the athletic director of communications. I want to be over people in athletic communications,” Wilson said. 

As to where Wilson wants to live and work after graduation, she says she is open to a wide-variety of places, but said she loves the Classic City of Athens. 

“I have lived in Georgia my whole life, and part of me wants to stay in Georgia, but part of me thinks about the Midwest or something,” Wilson said. “But I think Athens is a great town to live in when you first graduate. Maybe if UGA sees something in me and offers me a full-time job.”