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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Passion for photography

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Dylan Eddinger ’19 snaps a photo. PHOTO: LUKE MALANGA ’20 / THE HAWK

Student thrives in local industry

Dylan Eddinger ’19 might look like an average student until you notice all the camera gear hanging off of him.

Eddinger, an entertainment marketing major, has managed to turn his passion for photography into a job. He has made a name for himself in the local photography industry—all while juggling his responsibilities as a full-time student, a freelance photographer for radio station WXPN, an ambassador for several brands on Instagram and a member of the St. Joe’s men’s track and field team. He also keeps a music blog with his girlfriend Emily Herbein ’19.

Eddinger’s daily routine is designed to accommodate his many activities. He usually wakes up around 5:30 a.m., goes lifting, naps for about an hour, attends class, finds some type of photography project to work on after his classes, goes to track practice and comes back to his house to edit and keep working on photography.

“I know that I couldn’t do as much as he does,” Herbein said. “He’s doing school and all this stuff, and he still is doing really well. So it’s definitely admirable. It’s not something that I think everybody could probably do and enjoy. It’s never like homework for him.”

Eddinger first became interested in cameras after his grandfather took up photography as a hobby for a short period of time when Eddinger was a child.

Eddinger took a photography class during his sophomore year at Boyertown Area Senior High School in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. The summer before starting college, he realized how much he enjoyed the art behind snapping pictures and started doing it more frequently, taking pictures of his camping adventures with friends and shooting weddings from time to time.

Grand Trunk, an outdoor gear and hammock store, was the first brand Eddinger worked with. He applied to become an ambassador of the brand after buying a hammock during his first semester at St. Joe’s.

“I applied, showed them a bunch of pictures with all the other camping stuff that me and my friends have been doing forever, and I got into the program,” Eddinger said. “They had a whole tier system, like the more reposts you get, the more perks you get, and I made my way to the top of this within a year, which is great. And while I was doing all this, I got more opportunities from other brands.”

Eddinger is also involved with the local music industry. During his first years at St. Joe’s, he joined 1851 Entertainment and began working on Philly Live, the music blog he created with Herbein.

Started as class project during Herbein’s freshman year, the blog allows Herbein to mingle her passions for writing and music.

Herbein writes the posts, designs the site and co-manages the social media accounts, while Eddinger is responsible for the photography featured on the site.

Dylan Eddinger with one of his cameras. PHOTO: DYLAN EDDINGER ’19

Philly Live opened many doors for the couple. They learned how to contact public relations agents for bands, how to get photo passes and how to cover concerts for the blog. They also got the chance to expand their network and work with a variety artists.

The work they did for the blog also helped them land internships at WXPN, which have now turned into freelance jobs.

In the summer of 2017, Eddinger and Herbein traveled to Langhorne, Pennsylvania to take presskit photos for the group Good Old War.

“I think that was probably one of the biggest accomplishments we had,” Herbein said.

One of the photos was used for band’s summer tour, and another was turned in a giant poster that hung outside World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Eddinger’s style and work has inspired his friend Chris Deflitch ’19 to work even harder by showing him that it is possible to make it, Deflitch said. They are both members of 1851 Entertainment on campus, where they met.

“His work ethic, that dude is always grinding,” Deflitch said. “He’s always doing something new, something exciting. And again, it shows me that it’s possible out there to do anything you set your mind to.”

Eddinger is currently the official photographer of the local band FoxTrot & the Get Down. He shot the photo art for their new song, which is managed by Sony Records Distribution. He has toured with them in the past, and he is also accompanying them to the film and music festival South by Southwest early next year in Austin, Texas.

Krista Svalbonas, MFA, assistant professor of art, has taught Eddinger in various art classes, including photography. She described him as a “thoughtful and conscious” artist who not only pays attention to photographic techniques, but also takes into consideration the messages that he wants to express with his art.

“When people ask me what makes a successful artist or creative person, to me, it’s a mix of technical capability and the ability to be able to think really big,” Svalbonas said. “He has both of those, and that leaves the world wide open for you if you have both of those talents.”

Eddinger said he hopes to be a concert photographer for a few years after he graduates next spring, touring with bands and capturing their moments on and off stage. While he plans to work in music management or music marketing in the long run, he said his love for photography is always going to be a part of whatever he does.

“I feel like I always have fun with it,” Eddinger said. “Either way, whether or not I’d be making money out of it, I’d still be doing it.”

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