BY OLIVIA JANSEN | Ball State Sports Link
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved being behind the lens of a camera.
I’ve always had a particular interest in capturing life’s little moments — from sunsets and landscapes to my friends and places I’ve traveled to. I created a VSCO account back in 2015 just to post random pictures I took with my phone, but it was never really anything to advertise.
It wasn’t until this year, though, I found myself becoming more and more confident with sharing and expanding my photography skills.
During my senior year of high school, I was a sports reporter for my school’s student newspaper, The Blotter. I started writing articles about athletes and basketball, since I’m a homegrown Hoosier and a love for basketball is in my veins.
Even though basketball was — and still is — my favorite sport. I never really had the chance to take a camera to the court to capture the action, since I was always above it providing play-by-play for the school’s radio station, WNAS New Albany. I didn’t have the chance to shoot at a sporting event until April 2017, when I decided to go to a baseball game with a DSLR camera — a piece of equipment I’d never really used before.
For my first time being a “photographer,” the photos turned out better than I thought they would. After only receiving positive feedback about my shots, I continued to join the team in the dugout for as many games as I could. I loved every minute of it. It was then I decided photography was something I wanted to pursue on a bigger scale.
Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to intern for Louisville City FC in Louisville, Kentucky. My role was to photograph the game and to gather video footage for highlights. This was my first opportunity to shoot something big, after all, it was a professional soccer team. Taking pictures on a professional level like this motivated me to work on my brand even more.
When I got to Ball State, I began taking a camera to nearly every event I worked for Sports Link, and even some I didn’t. For football games, I was a camera operator for our SL GameDay live show, captured images and managed Sports Link’s Snapchat and Instagram stories, and still shot with the DSLR. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot women’s soccer matches, club lacrosse games and men’s basketball. I’m only three months into my freshman year.
I am by no means a professional photographer, but I took something I was interested in and pursued it until it became my passion.
Photography has opened my eyes to a new way of viewing sports. I have a greater respect for every small detail that contributes to the big picture. I recently created an Instagram account as a fun way to post my favorite shots, and I’m still using every event I shoot to develop my photography skills.