Will Sgro, '26, presents prints of his photos to visitors during the Mountaintop Expo on April 21, 2023, in Building C. Sgro is a film photographer that specializes in street photography aiming to capture unique compositions. (Courtesy Marcus Smith)

Creatives of Lehigh capture students’ passion for photography


A blend of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit brews within the Creatives of Lehigh club, a community fostering the growth of photography skills among students. 

The club has embarked on the initiative to make freelance photography accessible to its members through the provision of freelance camera kits.

They have identified a key challenge: the high demand for event photography on campus despite limited access to professional camera equipment. 

Recognizing this, the executive board is looking to secure funding and resources for freelance camera kits. 

These kits would not only include cameras but also essential accessories. High-quality lenses, flashes, tripods and lighting equipment can elevate the cost of entry into professional photography to unattainable levels.

Daniel Simboli, ‘24, president of Creatives of Lehigh, said a primary limitation for those who have an interest in photography is knowing where to get started.

“There is a supply of people who are interested in photography and want to take photos for money, and there’s also the flip side where there’s clubs and organizations that want those photos, but they don’t know about each other and there’s not a way to connect them,” Simboli said. “That is the purpose of this freelance program that we’re working on, to try and connect that supply and demand.” 

Creatives of Lehigh is not only about fostering a love for photography, but also about equipping members with tangible skills and opportunities for career development. 

Simboli said the vision extends beyond merely capturing images; it’s about creating a sustainable model where students can learn, earn and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of campus life through their work. 

Along with the freelance initiative, the club has proposed a certification program that aims to standardize the quality of photography services provided by its members, ensuring that organizations and clubs on campus receive high-quality documentation of their events.

Marcus Smith, ‘25, an executive board member of Creatives of Lehigh, joined the club a year ago with no prior photography experience. However, he is now a key player in the initiative and highlighted the transformative impact of having access to the right tools and training. 

“You know, I don’t know how to sing,” Smith said. “I’d love to, but I know how to take a photo, so that’s kind of where I found my little niche. I ask, ‘How can I provide the most value here?’ Creatives of Lehigh was that club for me.” 

His story underscores the initiative’s potential to not only ignite a passion for photography among students, but also to open doors to freelancing opportunities that were previously out of reach.

“It’s what we live and breathe, and there’s a huge supply of photographers who want to do this and then eventually expand and have it truly be a creative of Lehigh,” Smith said. 

Christa Neu, the advisor for Creatives of Lehigh, believes the evolution of the club and strategic thinking behind the initiative reveals a deeper mission: to enhance campus life through storytelling and to create a sense of belonging among students by showcasing campus events and activities. 

“The drive to equip students with both the gear and the know-how to capture and tell these stories is a testament to the club’s commitment to inclusivity and empowerment,” Neu said.

By lowering the barriers to professional photography, the club enriches the student experience while paving the way for the next generation of photographers to emerge, learn and thrive within the Lehigh community. 

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