UNI Panthers

Insta-Graham: UNI's Aaron Graham is a talented receiver - and photographer

He captured drone footage of his proposal in May

Northern Iowa wide receiver Aaron Graham pulls in a 16-yard touchdown pass during the fourth quarter of a game at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (The Gazette)
Northern Iowa wide receiver Aaron Graham pulls in a 16-yard touchdown pass during the fourth quarter of a game at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa senior receiver Aaron Graham’s talents go far beyond the football field.

The Oak Grove, Mo., native is a digital media production major at UNI with a spectacular eye for photography and videography.

“I started out (with cameras) probably in high school, but it really wasn’t anything special, it was just more for fun,” Graham said. “I’d go on vacations with my family and I’d just have a GoPro with me and I’d just create these cool, little travel videos. They might not be that cool, because back in the day I wasn’t really good at it, but to me they were cool at the time.”

This past May, Graham put his video skills on display in romantic fashion when he proposed to his longtime girlfriend Haley.

In Moab, Utah, with Haley’s family for vacation, Graham convinced her to head out for sunset photos, and when he told her to stand by herself at the ledge of a mountain, he snuck up behind her, got on one knee and proposed while his drone camera captured breathtaking footage.

“I have friends that are girls and they (were) like, ‘you just set the bar high for every man we meet,’” Graham said. “There were a lot of funny comments.”

Graham’s portfolio of work is so good he was offered a job in Los Angeles this past summer with a clothing company. Then, just recently, he accepted an internship with Pixel Labs — a creative media content company in Cedar Falls.

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After football is over and he receives his degree in December he has big goals for his professional career. Graham already has his mind set on starting his own media company.

“(I’d) take the best of the best out of any location. I already have people that said they would want to work with me,” Graham said. “Basically I want to build a group that is able to go to big companies or smaller companies or even just individuals and give them the content they want.”

On the football field, Graham has overcome numerous soft-tissue injuries and a fractured kneecap during his UNI career. After playing sparingly in the Panthers’ first four games this season, he was re-inserted into the starting lineup at slot receiver in week 6 against Youngstown State. In the four games since becoming a starter, he’s quickly established a connection with redshirt freshman QB Will McElvain, racking up 155 yards on 12 catches.

“Me and Will have good chemistry,” Graham said. “I think everyone in our receiver crew has good chemistry.”

Now, with four regular-season games remaining in his college career, Graham says he wants him and his teammates to go out with a bang.

“It’s our last go-around and it’s our last time playing football all together,” Graham said. “Four guaranteed more games is scary to think about, but I know with our team we’re going to make it to the playoffs. Four guaranteed and then more. I’m just hoping for those more (games) to make it all the way up to January and that championship game.”

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