Annika Vande Krol

Year: Junior
Hometown: Decorah, Iowa
Major: Nordic Studies / Minor: Museum Studies

Visit her personal photo blog to view more of her work.

Photography has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I grew up watching my grandfather take photos with his fancy DSLR camera. I would ask for cameras for Christmas and my birthdays and I would receive little hand held ones. They were nothing like my grandfather had, but I did what I could with them. Then, on my 16th birthday I received a DSLR, it was so unexpected and probably the best present I have ever gotten. I was determined to figure out how to use and master my new device so I went out in the knee deep snow and walked around my house. This was just the start of what would be one of the things I am most passionate about.  

After deciding to come to Luther I found out that being a photographer for the school could be a job for students. I was so excited I could keep pursuing my new passion. Being a photographer at Luther has been a great experience. It has given me opportunities to challenge myself and opportunities to meet new people. 

One of my first job assignments was taking photos at the men’s soccer game. I had never really taken photos at a sporting event before, but I was excited to get out on the field. I’m not going to lie the first time was a little challenging. I found almost every picture I took was either a little blurry or too grainy. However, I kept asking to take photos at the soccer games so I could improve myself. Photographing any sport can be challenge. No sport is slow moving, there is always movement. Whether it’s the ball you’re trying to follow or a person or maybe both. You have to be on your toes during the entire time. For some sports it can be predictable on where the subject is going, but other times it is completely unexpected. I often find myself just missing the perfect catch or the perfect kick and I really get upset with myself. This can become very challenging, but I decide to keep taking photos at sporting events because there are always more opportunities to get that perfect shot.

This job has given me some really great opportunities just in my first year here at Luther College. Some of these opportunities only come once in a lifetime. This fall Luther began the restoration of our Martin Luther statue. We decided that it would be cool to document the long process of restoring the statue that has been through a lot over the years. I was assigned one day to document it. As I walked up to the statue I noticed how big it really is. I was given the opportunity to put on a harness and climb up on the scaffolding that surrounded the statue. Once I reached the top Martin and I were standing face to face. This was an incredible moment. I was able to see such detail in this statue that not many people have the opportunity experience, but because I was up there to take the photo and share it with the Luther community everyone was able to see what I got to witness. 

Annika Vande Krol
mens soccer