Jacob Reeves // @jacobskateslakai
Tell me a little about yourself?
I’m 25 years old from upstate SC but have been living in Columbia for awhile now. I enjoy boarding of any kind, photography, college sports, being on a body of water, hiking, cooking, reading, traveling places I’ve never been, playing video games, live music, and good beer.
How did you get into photography?
I’ve always considered myself a creative person and for the longest time growing up I was trying to find a creative outlet I was good at. I felt I always had an eye for good photos, I just never had the equipment. For Christmas in 2017 I got my first real camera and I’ve been using it almost every day since in a variety of different environments.
Why did you choose to work in collegiate athletics?
I’ve been a college football fan for many years. I always preferred it to pro football because I liked how unique the gameday, traditions, pageantry, and passion of each different school was. My senior year of college I came across an internship doing graphic design for my favorite football team, the South Carolina Gamecocks. I had very little experience at the time but I was willing to learn anything I could to improve. It was a creative platform with visibility that I was passionate about and felt like I could become good at. I dabbled a little bit in photography at that time but it was mainly graphic design. Getting the opportunity to help shape the creative image/online presence and tell the story of my favorite team to fans and to potential recruits was one I couldn’t pass up.
You currently work for your AlmaMater University of South Carolina, why did you choose to come back to where it all started?
I love the University of South Carolina and always will. My first full-time job post-grad took me to Columbia, Missouri to work full-time as a graphic designer for Mizzou Athletics. I was there a full year improving my skills at graphics & photography until one day I got the call to gauge my interest in returning to work for South Carolina full-time. I loved my time at Mizzou but at that point I was pretty homesick and missed living in the South near my family and friends. I felt I knew what I was doing way more than I did when I was a student and was excited at the possibility of contributing to the creative team back home in a bigger way. I flew out to be around the team for a couple days and got the official offer in the airport waiting for my flight back to Missouri. I love being surrounded by the incredibly talented people that are at South Carolina, how close everyone in the office is, and the full access to cover the team in workouts, practice, gamedays, and everything in-between that we’re incredibly fortunate to have here.
College sports might look very different this year, how will that change your day-to-day?
As of now we really have no idea. It’s definitely an unprecedented situation that we’re all trying to navigate as best we can. Currently we’re carrying on everything we do as if the season will be played as normal but obviously we’ll have to do whatever is ultimately recommended to be best for the safety & well-being of the student-athletes, staff, and fanbase. While nobody quite knows yet what this season will look like, the silver lining for me is that I still get to be part of it. Regardless, if there are fans or no fans, I am still fortunate to be in a career field where I can have a creative impact on my favorite team and alma mater, the South Carolina Gamecocks.
You get to see some of the best sporting events up close, do you have a favorite memory?
Oh, definitely. I was fortunate enough to be reached out to by the College Football Playoff last year to see if I’d be interested in shooting the National Championship and all the events surrounding it as an official photographer for the CFP. Lots of awesome things happened that week down in New Orleans but the particular memory that will forever stick out is getting to take photos of the celebrating LSU players as purple & gold confetti rained down everywhere. Experiencing Coach O and Joe Burrow hoist up the trophy only a few feet away from me is something I’ll never forget. The energy in that stadium right after the game was just unforgettable.
What is your most memorable photo you have taken? Do you have any tips on how to get the “perfect” shot?
Sports-wise, it’d have to be from the situation I described above. The massive majority of media people were flocking towards Joe Burrow and Coach O after the game. There’s tons of other players on the team with not nearly as many people around them that would make for a much better and much less crowded shot. I found one of LSU’s defensive players sitting on the ground amidst a pile of purple & gold confetti with his head in his hands and absolutely no one around him. I crouched down and knew it was my favorite shot of the week even as I was taking it. I also do a lot of lifestyle, nature, and scenic print photography, especially around the state of SC. I find it’s not only an enjoyable hobby that sharpens my skills as a photographer and resonates with the people who grew up in this state, but it’s also a relaxing contrast to the speed and intensity of sports.
Taking photos of a sunrise at Sullivan’s Island, or the egret at Shem Creek, or the Horseshoe on UofSC’s campus as the sun comes through the trees, or the mountains in the backdrop of Lake Keowee, it’s somewhere I can slow down and just appreciate the art and the beauty of my surroundings. In regards to the best “tips” I would have, it would be to seek out the shots no one else is taking. This is true in sports as well as anything else. Find unique angles of places you haven’t seen a photo taken from before. Find the players or the people or the buildings around town that don’t have tons of others covering them. There’s just so much in the world, even in the littlest details, that can be captured through the lens in a memorable way.
What made you become an Island Ambassador?
Island Coastal Lager is awesome. It tastes great and it’s made with quality ingredients. The image and lifestyle Island has cultivated to go along with it is something I wanted to be a part of as soon as I found out about it.
What is your favorite thing about Island Coastal Lager?
The fact that it’s a lighter beer, fitting for a variety of different environments whether you’re at the pool or out on the boat or just hanging out at home, that has a significantly better taste than other light beers on the market. It originated locally and has spread out to many other states as well.
Last question, what is one thing you want people to know about you?
I sell photo prints! I have a gallery of different UofSC, Columbia, and Charleston prints all available currently. I have a website (jacobreevescreative.darkroom.tech) and an Instagram (@jacobskateslakai)!