When Lafayette students log on to the college’s website or almost any form of social media, it is not uncommon for them to come across photos and videos of campus events. Students see the Lafayette experience come to life through these photos and videos. However, what students might not know is the face behind the camera: Clay Wegrzynowicz. A part-time student and the full-time official videographer and photographer for the college, Wegrzynowicz lives in both worlds.
The Lafayette: How and when did you get into photography?
CW: I got into photography around my senior year of high school because my grandfather was a professional photographer back in his day, so he kind of spurred my interest in it. I bought a camera, started taking photos and carried it with me everywhere.
The Lafayette: What kinds of things does your job as the photographer and videographer for the college’s communications division entail?
CW: I take photos of campus events, make videos that promote the college and a lot of the behind-the-scenes work includes managing our Flickr and our YouTube, as well as office tasks and working on projects with other departments and other members of my communications team. Right now, we’re in the midst of the President’s Challenge for financial aid so we’re creating videos for that and we’re also working on promoting the new integrated sciences center.
The Lafayette: What kinds of things do you photograph outside of your work for the college?
CW: I do like to do some things outside that are just for me. For photographers, it’s very important to have personal projects because they keep us out of the monotony of the day-to-day stuff. I need a bit of a change-up from time to time, so that’s why I do weddings, street portraits, fashion and studio work, as well.
The Lafayette: What are your favorite events to photograph?
CW: I really enjoy the high-energy events the college does, so things like XLC Day when you have a lot of perspective students coming and they’re all really excited. The same goes with move-in and orientation. I love seeing students get to experience what I did when I was a freshman and part of the reason I do this is because I love being able to provide photos and part of the experience for new students coming in.
The Lafayette: How has the job changed your experience as a student?
CW: It’s kind of interesting because I’ve always been in a weird position as a student photographer. I did a lot of things that were above and beyond what a student photographer does, so I’ve always kind of been on the outside, but this job has augmented my view on things. In terms of classes and actually doing schoolwork, nothing’s really changed. I’m still very much a part of the Lafayette community, I just have a nine to five workload and classes in between.
The Lafayette: What has the transition to living in Easton been like?
CW: I live on College Hill. I’m neighbors with Milo’s – that’s fun. For all intensive purposes, I’m an adult. It’s really crazy. The transition from being a student to being on my own was a little weird and different, but everyone will experience that at some point. I was definitely prepared, but it was the speed at which I went from living on a college campus surrounded by a bunch of people to being on my own and doing my own stuff. Like, garbage day is tomorrow.
The Lafayette: What does the future look like for you?
CW: At the moment, I plan on being here for a long time. I really love my job and an opportunity like this doesn’t come around ever. Having a salary position that allows me to be a creative is something I really value. This has been the perfect opportunity for me.
Wegrzynowicz encourages students interested in photography to practice and explore their interest. He recently created a Facebook page “LafCol Photographers” for any students interested in photography. Wegrzynowicz created the group as a way to foster more photography on campus and build a network of support for photographers.