Posts tagged ‘Bill Cardoni’

Behind the Scenes at the Nittany Lion Photo Shoot

lion shootWe weren’t exactly sure what to expect when we scheduled a photo shoot with the Nittany Lion for our Nov./Dec. cover. Would he show up at Hintz Family Alumni Center dressed in his fur? Would he have an entourage? The fall is his busiest time of year—how long would he actually be able to stay? Photographer Bill Cardoni arrived early that October morning to set up the backdrop and test the lighting. Shortly after, the student arrived in his street clothes with a bag over his shoulders; he said hello, shook hands, and carried in a few extra props that we still needed for the story. We thought that he was making an extra trip out to his car, but then he… disappeared. I glanced at my phone and saw this text message from him: “I’m almost done getting dressed. Any last minute things you need to communicate before I can’t talk?”

Photograph by CARDONI

Photograph by CARDONI

Well, didn’t see that one coming. I replied, “I think we’re good. We’ll direct you in the shoot.” And, about five minutes after sending that text, the Lion came bouncing into the conference room. He clapped his hands, as if he were arriving at Beaver Stadium, and even passed out Penn State buttons to us. The “student” with whom I had been working on the story was nowhere to be seen, but the Lion had arrived.

Later in the shoot, the photographer asked the Lion to jump. The Lion nodded OK, gave a quick glance over his shoulder, and didn’t just “jump,” but totally stuck a backflip. When we asked him to hold the cowbell for a picture, he couldn’t help but bang on it and look toward us to deliver the “P-S-U” chant. And when he put on the “Thriller” jacket, he danced as if he was in front of 94,000 fans.

Suffice it to say, it was a pretty fun photo shoot. And when it was time to go, the Lion grabbed his things, motioned to all of us goodbye—a pat on the back, a kiss on the hand, a big wave from his furry paw—and he was gone.

Amy Downey, senior editor

November 13, 2015 at 10:46 am 1 comment

What did YOU do on Saturday?

It’s safe to say that the majority of folks in State College and on campus this past Saturday were there to watch the Nittany Lions take on the Crimson Tide in one of the biggest games of the year. I was on campus, too. But my Saturday plans did not include hot dogs on the grill, beer, white jerseys, or lion paws painted on my cheek. I had one thing in mind, and that was to avoid Beaver Stadium at all costs. I also wanted to stay far away from people like this:


Photo by Patrick Mansell

The Penn Stater staff had asked me to spend the day tracking down folks who were not at the game. People who could care less about football or the score or who the Lions were playing, thankyouverymuch. So at 12:30 on Saturday, when most people in State College were tailgating or making meatballs and dip at home in preparation for the big match-up, I was meeting up with photographers Bill Cardoni and Nick Sloff. We were loading apples and water into a knapsack attached to a bike I had borrowed for the day. Our mission was to spend nearly seven hours riding around campus in search of the elusive Nittany Lion non-fan.

Now, I’d be lying if I said we had left this journey all up to chance. In fact, we worked hard to come up with a list of possible stops, and I even planned a route for Bill, Nick, and me to follow. I thought we should prepare as much as possible, because, frankly, (more…)

September 13, 2011 at 10:08 am 3 comments

Our Man Cardoni


Lady Lion basketball player Nikki Greene checks out a photo Cardoni took of her.

Ryan Jones mentioned in his post about Jay Paterno earlier today that we had hired Bill Cardoni to shoot the opening spread for our Sept/Oct profile of Jay, and when I saw it, I took a minute to browse Bill’s website—and I was struck by how many Penn Stater magazine photos I recognized in his portfolio.

We learned about Bill from Tim Baldwin and John Goryl, the team who redesigned The Penn Stater seven years ago. Tim and John used to be at Philadelphia Magazine and used Bill a lot for that publication. Bill is based in the Poconos but does a lot of photography shoots in New York City, and he also travels to University Park just about every issue to do some shoots for us.

Bill’s online portfolios are almost like a “Who’s Who” of Penn Stater magazine coverage. If you go to his site and click on Portrait I, Portrait II, or Portrait III, you’ll see everyone from Nittany Lion defensive end Jack Crawford to Camp Woodward founder Gary Ream ’76 to Penn State ornithologist Margaret Brittingham … not to mention twirler PJ Maierhofer ’10, wrestling coach Cael Sanderson, and former Lion quarterback Michael Robinson ’04, ’06.

His portfolio called “Print” includes Bubba Beschler, who works at Penn State’s Applied Research Lab but is better known as the drummer for the Screaming Ducks.

There are shoots for other magazines in Bill’s portfolio, of course. Just a few photos away from Bubba Beschler, for example, I came across a portrait of Patti LaBelle. I’m pretty sure she has no Penn State connection.

Tina Hay, editor

September 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

On Jay Paterno

I’d been wanting to write about Jay Paterno ’91 since I met him back in 2007, when I was covering the first Penn State Football Fantasy Camp for The Penn Stater. The idea finally came to fruition over this spring and summer, and my profile of Jay appears in our Sept/Oct issue—you can download a PDF of the feature here.

Two things had me convinced Jay would make an interesting subject for a feature. The first is that, among his college football coaching peers, he’s something of a renaissance man. He’s a writer, with a regular column on and a couple of novels in the works. He’s also politically active, having stumped for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign—and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that he someday might run for office himself.

Mostly, though, I was intrigued by how polarizing a figure Jay is for a lot of Penn State football fans, particularly the small but vocal segment who can’t seem to stand him. Indirectly, those folks helped inspire the story, so it’s no surprise that some of them have strong opinions about the story itself. Over the past week or so, I’ve skimmed the messages boards on Blue White Illustrated, Fight on State and Lions 247, where our story was discussed in a handful of posts. To answer the most colorful accusation I found there: No, we were not “put up to” the story by the Paterno family—but it was fun to imagine Joe Paterno calling our office for something like that. Alas, I’m guessing he’s got better things to do.

Whether or not your thoughts on the subject are similarly conspiracy-minded, we’re curious what you think of the story, and the rest of the issue. Feel free to leave comments below, or on our Facebook page.

Almost forgot: The great shot of Jay walking in Beaver Stadium comes courtesy of Bill Cardoni, who shoots quite a bit for us. Needless to say, he’s a terrific photographer. You can find more of his work here.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

September 1, 2011 at 8:42 am 4 comments

A Model Scarecrow

Every once in a while we have photo shoot with a person so comfortable in front of the lens that it’s hard to pick the one great shot.

Adam Jepsen, our Everyday Person in the November/December issue, was just that kind of subject—the camera loved him. Adam, a musical theatre major, took last year off from school to play the Scarecrow in the national touring production of The Wizard of Oz. Here’s a slideshow of outtakes from the shoot, photographed by Bill Cardoni on a farm in nearby Lemont, Pa., where we were lucky to find a real Tin Man for Adam to pose with.

Carole Otypka, art director

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

October 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm 1 comment

Watch for Typos—Our Copy Editor is Leaving


Chas Brua, our copy editor for the past 12 years. Photo by Bill Cardoni.

If you notice more typos than usual in our September-October issue—which of course I’m hoping you don’t—it’s all Chas’ fault.

Chas Brua ’86, ’02g, ’09g, our ace copy editor and fact checker for more than 12 years, is leaving us. Today is his last day. And, while he has already edited about a third of the Sept-Oct issue, we still have a lot of pages left to finish, and we’re on our own for those.

If you’re wondering what a copy editor does, basically, well, he proofs every freaking word that appears in the magazine.

—For every single class note and every single obituary, for example, he verifies every single detail: year of graduation, student activities, address, etc.

—He reads every piece of editorial copy, from the 30-word captions to the 3,000-word features, and he usually reads them a half-dozen times at least: when they first come in from the writer, when they’ve been laid out by the art director, when the pages come back from the prepress vendor, and so on. In the early stages he gives us his take on whether the story “works” or not, where it gets bogged down or confusing, why the ending doesn’t feel right. In later stages he’s looking more carefully at the minutiae: what should get italicized, which spelling of “theatre” we should use, whether the phrase “abusive marriage” might constitute libel.

—He proofs the ads—both the paid ads and the house ads.

I can’t tell you how many times he’s caught misspellings, typos, sentences that made no sense, and other errors that could have gotten us in trouble.

Chas (his first name rhymes with “jazz”) came to us in December 1996, not long after I started as editor. He had been working at the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat when we hired him as our copy editor. (I remember that when he told us in the job interview that he found himself wanting to copy-edit restaurant menus and road signs, we knew he was the guy for us.)

For a while he continued to work at the Tribune-Democrat, so he’d commute back and forth from State College to Johnstown daily and still put in hours at the magazine.

Later, when we had an opening for a full-time associate editor, we hired Chas for that position. He was in charge of a couple of sections of the magazine, wrote several features, and continued to be our fact checker and copy editor. Later still, he decided to go to grad school at Penn State, so he went back to part-time status at the magazine. He got his master’s in teaching English as a second language in 2002 and successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in applied linguistics in May of this year.

He is known on staff by many nicknames: Dr. Chas, Chasworth, and Copywallah, among others.

Starting Monday, he’ll be doing a postdoctoral gig over in the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, basically doing stuff to help Penn State faculty and grad students be better instructors. We’re all excited for him to pursue his new career, but we do not look forward to replacing him.

Tina Hay, editor

July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am 1 comment

Older Posts

Follow The Penn Stater on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 512 other followers

%d bloggers like this: