Colin Boyle: The super talented photographer caught on the other side of the camera (Amy Boyle photo credit)
Who is that guy behind the Colin B Photography watermark that you find in many photo albums here? Upon recent requests I am starting something new today, and that is writing about my experiences as a photographer. There is no better place to start than two years ago, at the beginning of my job with MileSplit back in February of 2013. In those days of my freshman year in high school, it was me, an entry-level DSLR that I received for my eighth grade graduation, which I still hold dearly to this day, and two hand-me-down lenses, which I would rent from my mother's professional arsenal of photography gear. At that time, I was known as the boy on the frosh/soph cross country team who would bring his camera to a few meets and snap some photos. Who knew that that would take me to now? Just over two years ago, I received a message from Tony Jones asking if I would start shooting for meets with him for MileSplit. First it was a meet in Evanston, followed by one down in Urbana, and later on that season, I found myself standing on my dream: the track at O'Brien Stadium of Eastern Illinois University.
Sterling Newman Catholic anchor Brady Rude winning the state 1A 4x100 relay in 2013
Through relationships that I created at each meet and with the power of social media broadcasting of my photos, I quickly grew an audience that I appreciate day in and day out. With these connections, my photos really took off to reaching teams of fantastic athletes that I would have never gained the pleasure of knowing. Eventually, these photos scored me a few jobs out of state last fall, which have come second as my highlights of working with MileSplit thus far. Despite the honor of receiving these jobs, the number one highlight of work is the person-to-person relations that come about at each meet. It's quite humbling to go somewhere and have a complete stranger come up to me and recognize me for my work.
Grant Fisher (#1) at the 2014 MW Footlocker Regional
As a rather taciturn guy in the rambunctious city of Chicago, such an experience quite shocked me at first. I quickly came to recognize the appreciative audience that grew through MileSplit and now it seems as if no matter what meet I work at, I wind up connecting with a fan or reconnecting with an acquaintance. This is part of what pushes me each time that I pick up a camera, and that is the support that these people across the state of Illinois think about what I do. Sure, to some it may be a small place to begin. I'm not at the New Balance Armory, photographing the fastest high school relays. Rather I'm at the Armory on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, but it's a start.
Tony Jones and new fans at the 2014 Schaumburg Cross Country Sectional
And who knows, maybe I will find myself reaching that potential of such a job in the near future. If I was able to achieve my freshman year dream of working at the Illinois State Track and Field Championship, with the single-use press pass around my neck that I still have hanging over my desk today, I can wind up anywhere. So far my work with MileSplit has brought me nothing but new opportunities, which one day should be the next big thing.
Anyhow, this the first entry to my possibly continuing articles here, on il.Milesplit.com . If you have any topics that you would like covered or comments about this pilot, feel free to contact me at ColinBPhotography@gmail.com.