A Michigan photographer captured a special Rose Bowl photo. Here’s how he did it.

A Michigan photographer captured a special Rose Bowl photo. Here’s how he did it.

As Tyler Leipprandt was flying 4,000 feet with his camera above the Rose Bowl on Monday, all he could think about was getting the perfect photo.

Despite the pressure, the Michigan photographer snapped what’s become a special photo he’s named “For All the Roses.” It captures the B2 Spirit Bomber during a flyover of the stadium before the Michigan-Alabama game, which Michigan won 27-20 in overtime.

“It’s all just a matter of luck and timing and being at the right place at the right time. I mean there’s so much that could go wrong with a shot like that, and luckily, we were able to get it,” Leipprandt said.

Capturing a shot like this isn’t new for Leipprandt, who’s from Traverse City and behind Michigan Sky Media. He’s taken a handful of flyover photos at stadiums like Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, as well as some shots with the Coast Guard.

Michigan photographer takes iconic Rose Bowl photo

Marshall and Tyler Leipprandt pose for a photo in front of the helicopter on Jan. 1, 2024.Photo Courtesy Tyler Leipprandt

However, this Rose Bowl flyover shot was a little different Leipprandt said, as it’s been on the top of his bucket list for years.

“I knew that it’d be really cool to capture something like this if Michigan ever got to the Rose Bowl — and I wouldn’t go out there if it was a different team,” he said.

For those wondering, Leipprandt said taking the photo was completely legal since the helicopter he was in flew above the limits of the game’s temporary flight restrictions and had received approval from air traffic control.

Leipprandt started preparing for the photo a month in advance by booking his flight and renting a helicopter with Orbic Air of Burbank, California.

As Leipprandt sat with his camera ready, all he could think about was how much he had on the line being away from his family and spending money on airfare, food, hotels, a rental car and the helicopter rental.

“To know that if I mess up or don’t get the shot, it’s all going to be for nothing (was a lot),” he said. “Having that feeling of not getting the shot after spending that much money would be devastating.”

The hardest part behind the shot was having to navigate the pilot to the perfect spot above the stadium, since he was sitting on other side of the helicopter, Leipprandt said.

Leipprandt’s brother, Marshall, joined him in the air for his milestone. His brother is an U.S. Air Force veteran previously based in Los Angeles, so this made the experience even sweeter, Leipprandt said.

The pilot, Leipprandt and his brother were all airborne waiting patiently for the aircraft to fly over. Leipprandt said he struggled seeing the aircraft, so he just started snapping away as he saw its shadow on the ground.

“I was just pretty nervous I was going to miss the shot so there were times where I was just taking pictures because I couldn’t see and didn’t know where it was,” he said.

Regardless of his nerves, Leipprandt made it happen. He took the shot, edited the photo and made it by the end of the second quarter to watch the game from the ground with his brother.

“Just knowing that we were above that an hour before was just incredible,” he said.

Michigan photographer takes iconic Rose Bowl photo

Tyler Leipprandt in the helicopter preparing to take the photo above the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2024.Photo Courtesy Tyler Leipprandt

Leipprandt has been a photographer for eight years, starting with taking real estate photos with a drone. He soon fell in love with taking photos of Michigan and decided to pursue photography full-time.

“Ever since I started my journey in photography, I told myself that I want to take pictures that people haven’t even thought about before (or) can’t comprehend,” he said.

As for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Houston, Leipprandt plans to sit that one out. Michigan meets Washington on Monday, Jan. 8, in Houston.

Leipprandt said he isn’t sure how he can top a photo like this, but he’s looking forward to trying. He said he’s just proud he was able to finally mark this off of his bucket list.

“It’s everything and more than I’ve been dreaming up because everything worked out perfectly,” he said.

Anyone interested in purchasing the print of the photo can do so from Michigan Sky Media online.

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