Alumni Newsletter

Meet a staffer: Jessica Sheldon

Ally Moreo | Photo Editor

Jessica Sheldon ('17) will be photographing the Syracuse men's basketball team this season.

Jessica Sheldon was only a freshman at Syracuse University when her graphic was used as the official cover art for Miley Cyrus’ single “Adore You.”

Cyrus directly messaged her on Twitter asking to use the graphic, which Sheldon created for fun.

Fast forward three years and Sheldon has found a way to apply those creative skills while shaping The Daily Orange’s In The Huddle covers this fall. As The D.O.’s photo editor, Sheldon combined her background in art and her passion for journalism to bring a distinct look to the weekly sports publication.

Sheldon, known to the staff as “Jes,” spent one semester as photo editor. But she has been shooting for the paper since her freshman year. She traveled multiple times with The D.O.’s football and basketball beat writers to games at venues like MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The Daily Orange: How did your involvement in The D.O. start?

Jessica Sheldon: Because I had shot sports at my high school, I knew I wanted to shoot for The D.O. So my freshman year, I sent an email to and I told them I was interested in shooting. … My first game was a field hockey game. I loved it. I loved shooting field hockey because it was almost a beat, pretty much. I shot almost every single game and the championships. It was a lot of fun.

The D.O.: What was it like never having worked in-house before and then coming in as photo editor?

J.S.: It was interesting. It definitely took a little bit to adjust, but I liked it a lot. I wish, having spent so much time shooting (for The D.O.) that I had done it a little earlier. But I’m glad that I had the opportunity to just do it in general. The biggest challenge was probably just time management. I think I’m pretty good at it, but it still took a little bit to get used to being a head editor 24/7.

The D.O.: How do you think your background as an art student has helped you in your time as photo editor?

J.S.: (The School of Visual and Performing Arts) helps me think critically and conceptually in a different way than I would if I had a journalism background. I think that helped me process photo requests differently and approach story ideas in a way that’s both journalistic and creative.

The D.O.: What was your process for creating the photo illustrations that you’ve been doing for the sports section?

J.S.: I just looked online for cover ideas and inspiration and base them off of that. I’d try to recreate them with a personal spin on it and in a way that was mine. Trying to find something that was different and a step up from the previous covers we did was always a challenge, but it pushed us to do different things graphically.


The D.O.: How do you think your experience at The D.O. will help you in the future?

J.S.: I think it’s a great way to show on my resume how to work in a space that’s similar to whatever job I want to do. It’s also a great way to show what I can do as a photographer and editor and what I’m capable of.

The D.O.: After you graduate in May, what do you see yourself doing?

J.S.: I really want to work for a specific team — it doesn’t really matter the sport, but I’d really like to work for a football team. But I’d be happy with anything. That, or also maybe for Getty as a sports photographer — they have different sections and sports is one of them. They have really great photos.


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