How does it feel to see the photographs you took of your college campus appear in a national college guide two years in a row?
If you are UW-Eau Claire senior Matt Schrupp, you mostly feel relief.
“This shows that last year was not a fluke and that the work I have put into photography the past three years has paid off,” says Schrupp, an information systems major from Winona, Minnesota. “There was a new person picking the winners this year as well so there was no bias either.”
For the second consecutive year, photos Schrupp took of the UW-Eau Claire campus are included in the USA Today’s College Guide, a magazine that profiles nearly 500 colleges and universities across the country.
USA Today hosts an annual national photo contest to gather images to feature in its college guide, a highly competitive contest that attracts photo entries from across the country.
Having his images published in the college guide is a win-win since Schrupp gets to see his work and his much-loved campus featured in the prestigious publication.
“Photography is my way to show people what I see in my life,” Schrupp says. “I can look at a scene and already have it planned how I want to photograph it and how I want it to look. When I came to a place as beautiful as UWEC, I knew I wanted to show everyone how I see my campus.”
His goal is for his photographs to convey emotions and make people feel even more connected to the UW-Eau Claire campus.
“If you walk across the bridge during sunset, you know it is beautiful,” Schrupp says. “When you take a picture on your phone, it doesn’t do it justice. I use my camera to try to make it look just like you saw it so it simulates the same feelings when you saw it in real life. That is why I love photography and UWEC so much.”
Two of Schrupp’s photos appear in the 2018 College Guide; two also were in the 2017 issue of the guide.
One of the photos in the newest guide shows lightning striking down on campus during a spring storm.
“I was heading to the library during finals week to study and I saw lightning,” Schrupp says. “Me, being the photographer I am, I always carry my camera with me so I decided to go on the balcony of Davies and try to photograph the lightning. I was out there for around two hours and shot a couple of hundred photos, including the image that was chosen for the magazine.”
The second photo featured in the guide captures the UW-Eau Claire campus’ beauty during the winter months.
“There was snow everywhere and Little Niagara flowing under the bridge to get to Davies,” Schrupp says. “I think this one was featured because of the natural beauty of our campus. The layout of our campus is so beautiful it makes taking photos of it easy.”
While he is passionate about photography, works part-time as a campus photographer and sells some of his photographs, it will be his IS degree that will guide his career once he graduates in May 2018.
Already the former cross-country runner has accepted a position with Ecolab as an associate developer.
“I interned there over the summer and loved everything about the company and the people I worked with,” says Schrupp. “I will be working on an application for the team I will be on.”
While the company hired him for his IS skills and knowledge, Schrupp says he may tap into his photography skills as well.
“I will be designing the look of the app and some of its functionality,” Schrupp says of his new job. “My photography skills will help me in the design aspect of the app. I found over the summer that I have a lot of creative freedom when working at Ecolab so I am free to solve problems in the best way I see fit. So I think there will be ways to use my photography skills.”
Schrupp also will continue with photography as a side business and as a hobby, he says.
Top photo caption: For the second year in a row, USA Today’s College Guide includes photos of UW-Eau Claire that were taken by senior Matt Schrupp.