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Humans of NYCFC: Catherine Lojo

We continue our Humans of NYCFC series with Catherine Lojo, a freelance photographer from Astoria who had her life transformed by a contest launched before NYCFC had even kicked a ball…

As a soccer fan, I was craving to follow a team in New York because it’s my city and soccer is my passion but I didn’t know then that NYCFC was going to completely change my life. When I saw the #5BOROS1CITY photo contest advertised in 2014, I knew this was for me. You were supposed to send in a soccer-inspired picture of New York City, so I dragged my nephew out to Long Island City and I put the NYCFC sticker on one of the viewfinders with the sun setting and a boat passing through. I used the caption “Looking forward to the season ahead”. I was very honored to win and it was then I got the press pass for the Home Opener and I knew that my life had been completely changed – the goosebumps going through my body as the players came out, as the fans cheered and as David Villa scored the first goal – I’m getting goosebumps again just talking about it. After that, I started to get calls and out of it I got hired for a freelance photography job through a newspaper and now I do this in my free time when I’m not teaching. It’s revolutionized the passion I have for soccer. I never, ever get sick of what I do or take it for granted. There is an energy when you’re on the pitch which you get to feel – you feel what the players feel and you feel the stadium. Just being down on that level, being next to them while the players and the coach is calling the plays - it’s another world. I think I have the best seat in the house as I get to experience the first row behind the goal and I also have the Third Rail and the NYSC behind me. I’m very, very lucky. You mix photography with soccer and, for me, it’s pure bliss.

Catherine’s Winning #5BOROS1CITY entry…

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