Reminder Assistant Editor
AGAWAM Diane Bassette of Agawam has been watching the New England Patriots since her father was glued to the tube during the 1970s. Never once had she thought she would be on the sidelines during a live game, bumping elbows with photographers and videographers from "Monday Night Football."
But that's just what happened when the Patriots played the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20. Bassette is one of 80 winners of Canon's "Shoot Like a Pro" Sweepstakes, which grants fans the opportunity to photograph their favorite players with their new Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi camera kit. Each of the 10 participating NFL teams hosts a winner to shoot one of their eight homegames.
"I was so much in awe that I really couldn't do what I was supposed to do," she said in an interview with Reminder Publications. "I wasn't even thinking I was there to take pictures."
Bassette explained that while her husband and two children sat in the stands, she shot like a professional photographer using her new camera and a borrowed telephoto lens. She added that she was supposed to have the Patriots team photographer David Silverman teach her how to use her new camera but he called out sick.
"Nobody told me how to use the camera. I was just told where to stand. [The camera] was awesome, seeing as I didn't know how to use it," Bassette said.
She recalled that the field was very noisy and busy with players, media and other team personnel. Bassette said she was thrilled to be in such close proximity to her favorite players.
She explained that at one point during the game she was on the JumboTron modeling how to use her new camera. "That was pretty cool," Bassette said.
Her best photo titled, "I got your back" has been posted on the Patriots Web site. Bassette is one of the Patriots eight winners who are in the running for VIP access to next year's training camp. Seventy other winners have entered into the sweepstakes to photograph their favorite teams including, the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins.
To enter the Canon's "Shoot Like a Pro" Sweepstakes log onto any of the aforementioned team's Web sites. To enter the sweepstakes on behalf of the New England Patriots visit www.patriots.com/canon.