Major League Baseball discovers RIT diamond gem
May 18, 2012
by Bob Finnerty
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A key member of the RIT athletic family has reached the big leagues.
Dylan Heuer, a photo intern for RIT’s Sports Information Department, has landed a job as assistant photo editor for MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball. Heuer, of Des Moines, Iowa, is a visual media major who receives access services from RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He graduates May 26.
“Dylan has done an amazing job in our office and we couldn't be happier for him,” says Joe Venniro, co-sports information director. “I can’t wait to see his photos in the national spotlight for years to come.”
As a member of the RIT Sports Information team, Heuer captured images for Tiger athletics for three years. He served as lead photographer for University News during the 2010 men’s hockey Frozen Four appearance.
“It was a pleasure to watch Dylan develop his skills,” adds Steve Jaynes, co-sports information director. “His photos have been a fixture on the RIT Athletics website since he came aboard.”
Heuer took time out to discuss his major league experience:
Question: What other internships did you have besides RIT Sports Information?
Answer: I worked with the Rochester Red Wings for the past two summers as a team photographer. For four summers, I was with the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) as a batboy, photographer, graphic designer and game day stringer providing stats real time online.
Q: When did you start working at MLB.com?
A: April 4 (the first week of the 2012 season). They told me that they would throw me in the fire.
Q: What are your duties as an assistant photo editor for MLB.com?
A: During a game day, I will be working for multiple teams at the same time. They upload the photos of the games to Getty Images or AP Images. I do a quick edit on the photos. When that’s done, I’ll upload them to the MLB.com Web gallery. In a nutshell, I’ll be handling the photos that you see on MLB.com.
Q: Is this your dream job?
A: I’ll say that I’m very close to it. The important thing is that I’ve achieved the dream of working in the major leagues. I just have to start somewhere!
Q: When did you first know you wanted to be a photographer?
A: I knew that I wanted to become a photographer when I borrowed a camera from the Iowa Cubs and shot one of their games, without any prior knowledge about photography. I showed them some of my photos and they said they were some of the greatest photos that they’ve ever seen. That’s when I knew I had the potential to become a great photographer and decided to enroll in visual media at RIT to learn as much as I could about photography while taking graphic design classes on the side.
Q: Is baseball your favorite sport to photograph?
A: Baseball is definitely my favorite sport to shoot because it’s simply my favorite sport. I love to watch the game through the viewfinder of my camera. I love capturing the right moment where the ball makes contact with the bat. I love capturing the right moment as the pitcher releases the ball from his fingertips. I can’t resist the love of the game.
Q: What makes shooting the national pastime difficult?
A: Even though baseball is my favorite sport to shoot, I’ll have to say that it’s a harder sport to shoot, too. Baseball is a slow sport with sudden bursts. That means, just like a player, you have to be ready for anything at any given moment. Sometimes I’ve missed great photo opportunity because I’d set my camera at second base where I predicted the action would be, but it happened in left field. Also, you have to include the countless close calls that I’ve had with foul balls whizzing right past my head while I’m in the dugout.
Q: What are your favorite memories of shooting athletics for RIT Sports Info?
A: My most favorite memory of shooting RIT has to be the men’s hockey team’s memorable run to the Frozen Four in Detroit in 2010. At that point, I was just starting out as a photographer. I captured some of my greatest photos and some of those photos are still in my top five of the best photos that I’ve taken in my life. Some of those photos ended up on ESPN and CBS. It was also one of the greatest times in my entire life.
Q: Is there one photo that stands out?
A: That one shot that I’m most proud of is the one with the RIT men’s hockey team hoisting the trophy to the Corner Crew after winning the Atlantic Hockey Championship in 2010. I was jumping all over the place trying to capture the perfect image without looking through my camera. That was a “Hail Mary” shot.
Q: What has it been like your first month on the job in the big leagues?
A: Great! Even though I’m just working on weekends and still going through the training process, I can tell that this will be a fun job. It’s like spring training right now. I’m learning on the job. It’s awesome!
To see more of Heuer's work, including from the RIT men's hockey Frozen Four appearance, go to www.dylanheuer.com.