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T.C. Alum Realizes Dream of Being Redskins Photographer

“It’s my dream job. It’s everything I expected and more.”

T.C. Williams teacher Felix Trammell and Elijah Griffin, Sr. on the sidelines at FedEx field. Said Griffin of this photo taken on September 4, “Just two kids born and raised in Alexandria, VA trying to carve out our spot in this industry. Once a Titan, Always a Titan.” (Photo: Griffin Vision)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Elijah W. Griffin, Sr. has been known to throw a football or two in his life, but basketball was really his game. He probably could have given pro sports a shot himself, but he loved photography just as much. Plus he always dreamed he’d photograph Washington’s famous football team from the sidelines.

“After three years of calling, emailing, and reaching out to various people, tonight I finally reached my dream of being a photographer at an NFL game,” said Griffin during a pre-season game on August 15.

Washington Redskins Ryan Kerrigan and Matt Ioannidis in the rain at the sack of San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo. (Photo: Elijah W. Griffin, Sr.)

A few weeks later, Griffin noted, “Being an NFL Photographer is a lot of hard work. I have a lot of respect for the ones that do it because it is not as easy as it looks. I almost passed out from all the walking around, but I made it.”

Griffin’s passion for sports comes honestly. His dad, Oreal Griffin Sr. was a three-time state champion, with Parker Gray High School (1955-57) who was voted in the top 100 athletes in Alexandria history by the Alexandria Sportsman’s Club and was posthumously inducted into the Alexandria City Public Schools’ Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

Football is Family. Ohio State alumni Dwayne Haskins, Nick Bosa, and Terry McLaurin pose for a picture after the game. (Photo: Elijah W. Griffin, Sr.)

Griffin is also the Executive Director of the Debra Deneise Smith Foundation, a nonprofit started to honor his mother who died in August of 2017 from colon cancer. It has given scholarships to four T.C. Williams students this year.

READ MORE: Debra Deneise Smith Foundation To Award Scholarships To Area High Schoolers

When not catching the Redskins in his lens, Griffin also covers DC United, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, and own his own photography company, Griffin Vision. He lives in Alexandria with his wife, Michele, and their two children, Peyton, 6, and Elijah Jr, 4.

“The best part [of being an NFL photographer] is being able to see players up close and talk to them about various things in addition to football,” Griffin told the Zebra. “It’s my dream job. It’s everything I expected and more.”

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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