Feet shuffle, fans roar, and a man in Hillsdale blue-and-white leaps for an impressive dunk — Hillsdale is up two points, and the crowd goes wild. In the excited uproar, everyone missed a small ‘click’ from under the basket.
Junior Anthony Lupi says the moment was “the most surreal feeling.” As a photographer for the sports and marketing departments, he could not have been in a better place at a better time. He checks his camera roll, and there it is. His perfect shot captured the perfect shot.
At this time last year Lupi would not have told you that he was going to be a usual sight on the sidelines of any sports game or large school event, camera in hand. He hadn’t yet discovered photography, which he now describes as one of the few things he’s most passionate about.
He first began photography last February, borrowing a camera from a friend and fellow Alpha Tau Omega brother while in Tempi, Arizona.
“It was just a hobby that I was sort of interested in, and I ended up buying that camera from him,” Lupi said.
The hobby had grown into a passion by the time he arrived back on campus in the fall, and he sought out more opportunities to practice his new talent. He started shooting games for the Hillsdale men’s soccer team, which is largely made up of his ATO brothers. He also did practice photoshoots with friends for fun. When he heard the marketing department had an opening for a photographer, he seized the opportunity to get a job in his newfound area of interest.
Fast forward to spring 2021 and he’s making his talent profitable by working for both the marketing and sports departments, shooting events from basketball games to a forum with former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
He’s now even exploring the possibility of internships and a career, which he largely credits to his friend junior Stephen Edelblut, who encouraged him to consider his newfound interest as a profession.
“He made me understand that it’s actually a viable career path,” Lupi said.
Edelblut describes his friend as someone who excels when he has a purpose, and who goes all out once he sets his mind to something.
“I knew that if he had a target to run at, he would do a really good job, and obviously he has because he’s killing it right now,” says Edelblut.
Lupi’s marketing boss Andrea Weir also sees his passion for photography, saying he is always excited to take on events, prioritizing his availability to the marketing office.
“He usually just says yes, and then asks me what it is,” said Weir, laughing.
Lupi is busy juggling a Hillsdale homework load, a political economy major, managing ATO’s public relations, and leading the ATO Bible Study. Balancing all these duties is hard, he says, but still feasible because he finds meaning in what he does.
“Everything that I do is very fulfilling.” he says, “I think that’s the most important part of it.”
For Lupi, who is not otherwise particularly artistic, photography is a creative outlet that energizes him and actually helps him recharge from other activities. While he enjoys taking pictures on the job, he also loves to take photos for friends and generally doing it for fun.
Finding fulfillment in his work is what keeps him going, but he also thinks it’s very important to make time to just be with friends, and says exercise and good sleep are key to maintaining equilibrium.
Will anything come out of this hobby-turned-student-job? Maybe, Lupi says.
Lupi says he’s been in contact with several alumni who have helped him scope out a variety of internships and positions in sports photography. He’s seriously considering applying to photograph NFL training camps this summer, and has been in contact with alumna MaryKate Drews, who takes photos for many major sports teams in Chicago, including the Chicago Bears.
Lupi says his continuation of this pursuit is simple.
“I love doing sports photography. It’s one of the very few things I would say that I’m passionate about.”