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Humans of Smoky Hill | Zach Brophy Photography

Student excellence is demonstrated with a camera lens and passion for photography
Zach Brophy Photography

At Smoky, many students excel across different areas concerning academics, extracurriculars and athletics. In the midst of all these students, there are few who stand out with their passions.

Senior Zach Brophy is widely known as @zach_brophy_photography on social media platforms and for his overall interest in photography. Brophy’s curiosity for photography began with a sports injury he suffered in his sophomore year.

“I suffered a pretty bad concussion that took me out of sports for a while and it was kind of a hard time in my life and sports was my whole life,” Brophy said, “[I] just spent like all my free time that I wouldn’t have spent in playing sports [and] spent all that learning and studying how cameras work and how to edit and how to get the right lighting.”

Brophy decided to take it upon himself to combine his love for sports and photography.

Zach Brophy Photography

“I was so passionate about sports, I really kind of just follow sports and shoot a lot of sports stuff, and I like landscape too,” Brophy said, “[Having] a passion for sports and then with my passion of art, I just tried to combine the two.”

Some of Brophy’s first shots ended up being the friends made in the sports he was heavily involved in prior. 

“Just to stay involved with sports and keep close [to] my buddy, I went and bought a camera and started taking pictures for him because I know how much I wanted pictures of me while I was doing my sport,” Brophy said, “And I just feel like giving that to them, you know would be pretty nice. So I went and bought a camera and started taking pictures.”

Zach Brophy Photography

Like many photographers in the field, Brophy has a specific way of using cameras from the model of the camera to the editing software used after the shots are taken.

“I shoot on [the] Canon Rebel T7 and it really doesn’t matter like what camera, it’s all about the lenses. So I bought some pretty good lenses that really help with how sharp and the quality of my images and I use Lightroom,” Brophy said.

Not only is photography a picture taken of a single person or space in time, but to individuals like Brophy, it means much more than a shot.

“I guess [it’s] always been trying to get good vibes in my photography. There [are] a few times that I’m trying to find the positive in the [sports] game and not necessarily just like, mass producing, but like finding like the happy parts and the smiles and the laughs and capturing those moments,” Brophy said, “Just because I feel like those are so raw and the motion’s so high that like getting a picture of that, as it’s pretty cool.”

Just because I feel like those are so raw and the motion’s so high that like getting a picture of that, as it’s pretty cool.

— Zach Brophy

Recently, Brophy has started a challenge of posting a picture a day on his Instagram platform until he reaches a million followers. 

“I figured that I would see what I can do with the Instagram algorithm, the more you post the more watch time you have, the bigger your account blows up,” Brophy said, “I guess it’s just something to keep me going, keep my account active even if I haven’t shot anything in a while.” 

Zach Brophy Photography

With a love for shooting pictures and journeying his way through learning to work a camera, it is needless to say many lessons were learned in the process. For any beginning photographers in the field, there can be several valuable takeaways from the start. 

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to mess up, your art is not going to be perfect when you first start out. It’s gonna take a lot of time to get to the point where you think you’re doing good,” Brophy said, “You’re gonna mess up over and over again until you learn and that’s okay, you’re your worst critic [and] it’s not as bad as you think it is.”

Zach Brophy Photography

A simple hobby can blossom into a passion of its own– Brophy’s identity with photography becomes a striking example of that. As many memories, moments and clips of life are everpresent in the school community, an appreciation for a lens can make an impact. 

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