Amy Kontras became William Jewell College’s campus photographer from the marketing department in early 2016. Within less than a year, she has already left her artistic and journalistic touch on the college’s photography. She has taken photos for several publications and professional sports teams including the “New York Times” and the World Series.
“When I was 12, my parents got me one of those point and shoot Nikon digital cameras for my birthday and I thought that was the coolest thing ever and when I carried it around, I thought that I was the coolest thing ever.”
Kontras’ original collegiate pursuits had been biology, but after a year she changed course to pursue an avenue of photography at the University of Missouri.
“Mizzou gave me an excuse to do photography as a viable job,” said Kontras, describing studying photojournalism at the journalism school.
Kontras’ favorite photography is at sporting events.
“It’s fast pace and there are so many people trying to get the exact same shot, so it’s really competitive,” said Kontras. “Sports venues have such an energy about them. Feature hunting in a sports stadium is always really fun.”
Kontras got to take photos at both of the post-season runs that the Kansas City Royals had in 2014 and 2015.
“Being in a baseball stadium that’s overfilled with people that haven’t been to a World Series game, let alone a playoff game, in 30 years is crazy energy. It’s hard not to feel that and not get the emotion in the photographs.”
Kontras was recently married on Oct. 15, 2016. She met her fiancé when they were next door neighbors, both studying at Mizzou. Although he hates having his photo taken, Kontras’ husband has his own artistic pursuits. Kontras’ engineer husband has filled their home with original works and Kontras says she appreciates having this artistic balance in the relationship. Working as the campus photographer for Jewell is a new experience for Kontras as she comes from a background of fast-paced journalism to a marketing office.
“When I do get out of the office and interact with students, that’s definitely the best part of my job,” said Kontras.
All photos by Chandler Eaton.