UM students make money as photographers


Photographer Madeline Beck and her Canon DSLR. Photo by Lucile Healy.Lucile Healy
Oxford Stories

Photography has come a long way since 1827 when the first photo was taken. Today, new technology  makes photography simpler and quicker.

Madeline Beck is a University of Mississippi senior from Omaha, Nebraska. Her interest in photography began during her sophomore year of college. Beck decided to pursue photography during a time of change. She bought her camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T3, from eBay in 2015, and her passion for photography blossomed.

Beck brought her camera everywhere and documented as much as she could. “During the college experience, I feel like we grow up so much here. I don’t want to forget anything, so I capture my experience with my camera.”

Beck enjoys photography for many different reasons, but also noted that “…it’s not all about happy moments. Real moments can’t always look like the discover page on Instagram.”

Her first camera lens was a EF-S 18-55mm with an f-stop of f/3.5-5.6, but she purchased another right before a summer road trip two years ago. This was a Canon EF-S 55–250mm with an f-stop of f/4–5.6.

“The telephoto lens I bought was pretty expensive, and I used my own money that I had made from work to purchase it,” she said. “It really was a great decision, though.”

Beck traveled to Yosemite and found that this particular lens was perfect for capturing great detail. However, it’s not typically used for portraits. “I’ve taken good care of it,” she said.

Since Beck has learned more about the art of photography and how to use photographic technology and equipment efficiently, she is losing the desire to edit photos. However, she does use certain applications when she wants to edit her work. “On my computer, I always use Lightroom, and on my phone I use the app Snapseed,” she said.

Her hobby has led to great work opportunities with Lagniappe interior design, Poshmark, Cicada, and she even helped in becoming the director of graphics for her Greek organization. Like other student photographers, Beck takes graduation photos for fellow students at the University of Mississippi.

Beck plans to move north after graduation, pursuing her career in New York City. Hopefully with new equipment, too. “I really want a Canon EOS 70D, and I will probably purchase one post grad,” she said.


Photographer Richard Long and his Canon DSLR. Photo by Lucile Healy.

Richard Long is a UM senior from Greenwood. He uses a Canon 7D with a 24mm Prime, 10–18mm, 50mm prime, 100mm prime, and 70–200mm lens.

His dream equipment? A Canon 5D Mark 4 with 300mm prime, and a lens with better f/stops.

Long’s career in photography has him working often. He takes photographs for the local music blog, Auxford Wave, and frequently attends concerts around town. He is also the band photographer for The Busty Petites.

“I love being able to capture moments,” he said. “As humans, we are only here for so long… I want to capture as many moments as possible so I can share them with the world.”

Long enjoys taking photos of people, and recently started the project “Humans of Mississippi.” This project was inspired by “Humans of New York.” Long takes portraits of people he meets around Mississippi, and listens to their stories. “Photography is more than just moments,” he said, “it’s also a platform to be creative and show artistic ability.”


Photographer John Taylor and his Canon DSLR. Photo by Lucile Healy.

John Taylor is a recent Ole Miss graduate from Memphis, Tennessee. His camera of choice is a Canon 80D, which he has had for almost a year.

His go to lenses are the 50 mm with an f-stop of f/1.8 and the 24-70mm with an f-stop of f/2.8. “They are perfect for everyday walking around lenses and even better for portraits,” he said. Taylor also uses a full frame Canon 6D for his bigger projects.

Taylor considers himself an artist, and believes that, “Photography is an art form that is constantly changing and evolving. There is always a new element to master that precedes the one before it.” He enjoys shooting portraits, sports, and landscapes the most.

He sees his appreciation for photography as a gift and a curse because he now finds himself “…micro-analyzing everything and everyone I walk past on a daily basis, trying to create the perfect image as if I was shooting them in that exact moment.”

“My favorite thing about photography is that it really trains your eye to find the beauty in everything,” he said.

Taylor also takes graduation photos, and recently had a shoot with Ole Miss wide receiver Alex Weber on the Square. You can find the photographers on social media at Madeline Beck: @madelineabeck, Richard Long: @ral_photo_ and John Taylor: @jhentaylorco.

Leave a Reply