Q&A With Stephanie North: SW Magazine Cover Photographer, Boise Swim Alum

By Michael Walsh, Boise State SID
Reprinted from BroncoSports.com

BOISE, Idaho, April 29. FORMER Boise State swimming student-athlete Stephanie North is making the transition from in front of the lens of a camera to behind it and the swimming world is taking notice. North, an All-American and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials participant while at Boise State, is also an aspiring photographer. Her work was recently featured on the cover and inside the April edition of Swimming World Magazine.

North was selected to hold a photo shoot with master's swimmer Bob Strand, who resides in the Treasure Valley. Strand was recognized as one of Swimming World Magazine's Top 12 World Masters Swimmers of the Year for 2012 and was chosen for the cover.

Strand owns numerous FINA Master's world records. In 2011, less than six months after surgery to remove a tumor from prostate cancer, broke every national breaststroke record in the 65-69 age group. He continued his comeback and assault on the record books in 2012, helping earn him the distinction from the magazine.

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For North, the opportunity to be published was something the jumped all over. Her photos were used as the cover shot and inside the magazine to supplement the feature article. She will graduate in May with a degree in fine arts and an emphasis in photography. Continue reading for a Q&A session with North about the experience and what her future holds.

BroncoSports.com: “How did the Swimming World photo shoot compare to other things you've done in the past?”

Stephanie North: “It was a little different because I was trying to shoot what someone else wanted me to capture. It was interesting trying to work around what someone wanted from me while not totally knowing where they were going to go with the story. But we ran through the list of activities they wanted, based on his interviews with the magazine, and then did some improvising on a few shots as well. And some of each ended up getting published, so that was cool.

BroncoSports.com: “How much previous experience did you have with this type of shoot?” 

Stephanie North: “This is only the third time I've done portraiture and the previous two were weddings. After this shoot with Bob Strand I actually did some more as part of my senior show and it's of student-athletes. So this helped me get ready for doing my actual assignment.”

BroncoSports.com: “Did being a swimmer yourself make the task any easier or more exciting to be working for a swimming-focused publication?” 

Stephanie North: “It made it more exciting because it was an actual magazine. It wasn't a friend or a friend of a friend or a school project. The fact that it was swimming on top of it made it more comfortable. I could relate to what they were talking about and what he has gone through and what he does in the pool every day.”

BroncoSports.com: “What will you be able to take away from this experience and use in the future as you move on from college?”

Stephanie North: “The experience will help me for sure, even beyond getting published for the first time and being able to put it on my r?sum?. I had never met him before and so I've never taken pictures of someone I've never met before. So that was interesting, and I'm more of a shy person. It has helped me learn more how to communicate in that setting with people I've never met.”

BroncoSports.com: “What do you hope to do with photography in the future and how long has it been of great interest to you?” 

Stephanie North: “Back in middle school my brother and I decided we were going to open a photo shop. In high school, my sister- who likes to bake cakes- and I were going to start a cake and photography shop. I don't know where either idea is going, but I've thought about opening my own studio. If not, I'd be happy doing freelance work too.”