Communications Student Wins Second Place Keystone Award

Kailene Nye and Ryan Coyle

When Zach Pippen signed up for a photography class in high school, he never expected it would lead him to win a Keystone Award.

The sophomore mass communications and design major was taking photos at one of the baseball team’s practices last semester when he captured the photo that would earn him second place for a sports photo at the 2020 Keystone Media Awards.

“I liked the drills with the big groups and I wanted to get more of a team shot other than just solo players. I just liked how I was positioned to have the players fill the screen,” Pippen said.

Zachary Pippen

Pippen said while he never expected to win the award, it has helped him realize the deeper love he has for photography.

“Honestly, I never thought I would have even thought of doing photography, but after these past two years or so, I have fallen in love with it,” he said. “I think this was the boost I needed to actually take this and run with it.”

Pippen’s interest in photography started in high school when he took a class about the history of photography.

“I got really into it and I ended up learning a lot about the old film methods and I was intrigued,” he said.

When he came to the university and joined the Highlander staff, he went from taking action shots of his Star Wars figures to capturing moments of another one of his passions, sports. He said he thinks having knowledge about different sports helps him predict which plays will look the best on camera.

“I love sports and they are so fun to shoot,” Pippen said. “With the knowledge I know, it helps me kind of predict what comes next and how to follow the ball when looking for that one shot when it comes down to game day pictures.”

Zachary Pippen

Pippen said he doesn’t know if he will pursue photography as a career after he graduates, but he said he would love to combine it with his interest in graphic design and photoshop to see where it takes him.

He expressed gratitude toward his family as well as his peers and faculty in the mass communications and design department for helping him win the award.

“I want to thank my professor, Jimmy May, who really opened my eyes to photography  as well as all my cohorts from my newspaper for giving me the opportunity to shoot these photos.”