Boiler Bytes: Photographer captures images for campus, Sports Illustrated

Boiler Bytes: Photographer captures images for campus, Sports Illustrated


JUST ANOTHER DAY FOR
A PURDUE PHOTOGRAPHER, HELPING PURDUE’S
TALENT TELL THEIR STORY. BUT THIS PHOTOGRAPHER HAS SHOT
FOR MORE THAN JUST PURDUE, CLAIMING MULTIPLE FRONT COVERS
FOR “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.” HI, I’M ASHLEY SOLGERE
FOR “BOILER BYTES.” WE FINALLY TRACKED DOWN
PURDUE STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER AND “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED” REGULAR
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER ANDY HANCOCK. SO, ANDY, HOW DID YOU GET
INVOLVED HERE AT PURDUE AND WITH “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED”? STARTED WORKING WITH
“SPORTS ILLUSTRATED” ABOUT 2 1/2, ALMOST 3 YEARS AGO. AND I WAS STILL WORKING
NEWSPAPERS AT THE TIME. AND IT WAS ALSO THEN THAT THE
UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER POSITION HERE OPENED UP. AND THE GUY THAT WAS LAST IN THE
POSITION WAS HERE FOR 39 YEARS. HE AND I TALKED, AND HE
STRONGLY SUGGESTED THAT I APPLY FOR THE JOB, AND THERE
WERE SEVERAL OTHERS HERE THAT REALLY ENCOURAGED ME, TOO. AND SO I DECIDED TO LOOK INTO
IT AND DECIDED TO THROW MY HAT IN THE RING AND MANAGED TO GET
THE JOB AND COULDN’T BE HAPPIER. WHAT IS IT LIKE, WORKING
FOR A BIG TEN SCHOOL? IT’S A LOT OF FUN. THERE’S REALLY EXCITING
THINGS GOING ON HERE — EVERYTHING FROM RESEARCH,
STUDENT LIFE, ATHLETICS. I MEAN, ANYTHING YOU
WANT, YOU’VE GOT IT. AND SO, YOU KNOW,
THE OPPORTUNITIES TO PHOTOGRAPH SOMETHING
SPECIAL ARE ENDLESS. AND SO IT’S A LOT OF FUN,
GETTING TO TRY TO DOCUMENT, YOU KNOW, DAILY LIFE BUT REALLY
SHOW OFF THE EXCITING RESEARCH THAT’S GOING ON HERE. AND IT’S A LOT OF FUN. WHAT MAKES THIS JOB FUN? THE FACT THAT THERE’S
REALLY NO TWO DAYS THAT ARE NECESSARILY
GONNA BE THE SAME. AND SO YOU DON’T
REALLY KNOW, YOU KNOW, WHAT YOU MIGHT BE PHOTOGRAPHING
ONE WEEK OR THE NEXT. AND WE’VE GOT A LOT OF
FUN PROJECTS THAT WE DO, LIKE THE “FIVE STUDENTS”
PROJECTS. AND THOSE ARE OPPORTUNITIES
WHEN WE GET TO REALLY SHOWCASE WHAT MAKES
EACH STUDENT INDIVIDUAL. YOU KNOW, WE GET TO HIGHLIGHT
STUDENTS THAT GIVE BACK THROUGH COMMUNITY SERVICE,
STUDENTS THAT, YOU KNOW, FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS
OF AMELIA EARHART. AND SO WE GET TO DO SOME
REALLY FUN SHOOTS WITH THAT. AND SO IT JUST KEEPS
EVERYTHING FRESH, AND, YOU KNOW, IT ALWAYS KEEPS YOU THINKING, TRYING TO DO SOMETHING
DIFFERENT. YOU ARE A BIG SPORTS FANATIC, AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
REPRESENTS THAT A LOT. COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY AND MAYBE AN EVERYDAY
SHOOT ON CAMPUS? IT ALL KIND OF DEPENDS. SOMETIMES YOU MIGHT JUST BE
RUNNING AROUND CAMPUS WITH, YOU KNOW, A CAMERA, A COUPLE
LENSES, AND JUST TRYING TO DOCUMENT, YOU
KNOW, GENERAL LIFE. WITH SPORTS ASSIGNMENTS, DEPENDING ON WHAT
YOU’RE SHOOTING, IT CAN GET REAL INVOLVED FOR ME. ONE OF MY SPECIALTIES, ESPECIALLY WITH “SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED,” IS REMOTE CAMERAS, ‘CAUSE I CAN CONTROL
EVERYTHING WIRELESSLY THROUGH RADIO TRANSMITTERS. I’LL HAVE LITTLE BUTTONS
TAPED OVER MY CAMERA, AND SO I CAN JUST GO
FROM CAMERA TO CAMERA, BASED ON WHICH ONE
I WANT TO FIRE. AND, SAY, LIKE, WITH A
PORTRAIT ASSIGNMENT, YOU KNOW, I COULD HAVE TWO OR
THREE CAMERAS READY, ALL OF EVERYTHING DIALED
INTO THE PROPER EXPOSURE. AND SO, DEPENDING ON WHAT I
NEED FOR THAT PARTICULAR SHOT, I MIGHT NEED A DIFFERENT LENS. AND SO IT MAKES THINGS
A LOT SMOOTHER, OPERATES A LOT QUICKER. I CAN JUST PICK UP
WHAT I NEED INSTEAD OF HAVING TO FUMBLE AROUND. BUT WITH REMOTE CAMERAS,
YOU NEED A LOT OF CAMERAS, JUST SO YOU CAN HAVE ALL
THOSE DIFFERENT ANGLES AND REALLY PUT THE EXTRA EFFORT
IN TO CREATE SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT PEOPLE HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE
AND A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW. WHAT’S THE TRICK TO CAPTURING
AN INDIVIDUAL’S PERSONALITY IN YOUR PHOTOS? EVERY SITUATION IS
GONNA BE UNIQUE. AND THE BIG THING IS
JUST TALKING TO HIM, TRYING TO GET A FEEL FOR
WHOMEVER YOU’RE SHOOTING AND, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO
BREAK DOWN SOME WALLS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY’RE
A LITTLE RESERVED. SOMETIMES IT’S EASY,
SOMETIMES IT’S CHALLENGING. I’VE WORKED WITH SOME OF
THE ATHLETES ON THE TOP OF THEIR GAME, AND EGOS
CAN COME INTO PLAY. AND I, YOU KNOW, FIND THAT
SOME OF THE BEST ONES — LARRY FITZGERALD WAS ONE OF THE EASIEST ATHLETES
I’VE EVER WORKED WITH. AND THEN, SAY, YOU KNOW,
HERE ON CAMPUS, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE A PORTRAIT SHOOT,
YOU KNOW, WITH A STUDENT, AND THEY’RE JUST NOT
SURE WHAT TO EXPECT. YOU’VE GOT ALL THE
LIGHTS, AND YOU JUST HAVE TO MAKE THEM FEEL AT EASE. AND WHENEVER YOU DO THAT, THEN
CHARACTER, PERSONALITY STARTS TO COME OUT, AND IT
REALLY SHOWS IN THE PHOTOS. AND THEN I THINK THEY END UP
HAVING A LOT MORE FUN, TOO. WELL, ANDY’S OFF TO ANOTHER
LOCATION, AND WE’RE OUT OF TIME. I’M ASHLEY SOLGERE
WITH “BOILER BYTES.” SAY “CHEESE.”

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