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For RHS graduate, there’s no dream too big

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Muriel Knudson2 / 2

To 2015 Rosemount High School graduate Muriel Knudson, no dream is too big. The former Independent Town Pages intern has spent the past year shooting photos of the Minnesota Vikings in action, flying to San Francisco during Super Bowl Week to cover hall of famers at Taste of the NFL, and taking selfies with the likes of Ludacris and Nick Lachey. When one of her favorite artists, Vance Joy, shared one of her photos on Instagram, Knudson knew she was on the right track.

“I’ve kind of always been interested in film,” Knudson said. “I remember the exact moment I knew I wanted to use a camera for the rest of my life.”

That moment came on a family camping trip back when she was in third or fourth grade. Knudson took a picture of the sunset and showed it off to everyone she knew. Eventually, her dad blew it up and printed it on a poster, which she still has today.

Her love affair with photography grew, and by the time she was a senior at RHS, Knudson was packing her schedule with as many electives as possible, including Irish Update, the school’s broadcasting class, and film history, which she loved.

She spent the summer of 2014 working as an intern at this newspaper.

“That’s kind of where everything took off,” Knudson said.

Her internship gave her the opportunity to film Ramble Jam, an annual fundraiser put on by the Rotary Club of Farmington. That led to a connection with local country artist Chris Hawkey, who put her in touch with Rod Simons, host of local sports television show GameON! The next thing Knudson knew, she was on the field with the Minnesota Vikings and flying to San Francisco to cover Taste of the NFL, an event that brings professional NFL players and cooks together to raise money to stop hunger.

Of all the things she has done, Knudson found shooting the Minnesota Vikings the most nerve-racking.

“Everyone around me had bigger cameras with longer lenses, but I just had to remember that I was put in this position for a reason,” Knudson said. “At one point I was in the end zone and before I knew it, one of the Vikings players was running straight towards my camera, about to make a touchdown, and I remember thinking, ‘I don’t care if I get run over, I have to get the shot.’”

Knudson achieved one of her career goals, to tour with an artist, when Fort Wayne, Ind. rapper Lauren Sanderson invited her to join her tour, taking concert photos and putting together video afterward. Knudson said she would love to make more connections with people in the industry, but more than anything, she wants to improve her craft and inspire others to “find what they love and really go after it with their whole heart.”

Soon Knudson will have to decide whether she wants to attend Columbia College Chicago or the Los Angeles Film School. She was accepted into cinema arts programs at both schools and will start taking classes this fall. While she knows she would be surrounding herself with all the big name studios in LA, she has already built a strong network of friends in Chicago and likes the idea of living there for a few years before heading to the west coast to pursue a film career.

Meanwhile, she will continue working for GameON!, getting small jobs as a production assistant or set photographer, and doing photo shoots to expand her portfolio.

“Everything that happens is so important and I think it’s going to be the biggest point of my career and then something else happens,” Knudson said. “With anybody who goes after any dream, there’s going to be people who are going to doubt you, make fun of you or tell you, ‘You can’t.’ But at the end of the day, if you’re happy doing what you love, then you should never, ever stop for anybody.”

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