The man with the cam

Junior navigates his new passion for photography


Junior Levi Smith holds up his camera at the Perry Meridian varsity football game. The Cards lost 7-36.

Watching from the stands at a volleyball game, one of the things Junior Levi Smith observes is the amount of people on the court floor, snapping shots of the ball being hit back and forth. An idea pops into Smith’s head, he just found himself a new hobby.

“Doing all this,” Smith said. “It makes me feel good about myself.”

Just 3 weeks ago, Smith decided to try his own photography with no experience. Smith is now exploring his new hobby and his business.

He was at a volleyball game and saw a couple taking pictures. This piqued his interest and thought it would be something that he would like to do. Using money he earned from his part-time job, he purchased a camera.

Smith’s two favorite sports to photograph are SHS’s volleyball and football team because sophomore Madison Rayburn, his girlfriend, is on the JV team. Junior Bryce Calvert, a quarterback for the varsity football team, is also a close friend of Smith. Both are two major influential figures on Smith’s journey.

Junior Levi Smith photographs the varsity football team at the Columbus North v. SHS game on Sept. 2. SHS lost 14-47. (Darcy Leber)

“I don’t really see him as someone who would take photos,” Rayburn said. “So, it was surprising that he wanted to pick this up, and he actually liked it.”

Right when Smith decided to pick up photography, he wasted no time buying a camera. It was the same day that he chose his new hobby that he bought a Nikon D3100.

“He didn’t tell me he wanted to start photography, he just told (his friends) he got a camera…,” Calvert said. “Then, when he said he would be out there on Friday nights, we all got super supportive and happy that he’s gonna be out there with us.”

“When I was buying the camera, I was just thinking about photos I could take of my friends at the football game,” Smith said. “Or when Madi’s at volleyball games.”

The type of photos that catches his eye most are taken in the middle of sports plays. His photography Instagram account, @levisphotographyy, consists of volleyball and football players in the middle of their respective games. His account is currently open to people interested in having their shots taken. A “dm for prices” sits in his account bio.

“I just go for action shots or stuff that looks cool.” Smith said.

Rayburn’s favorite pictures that Smith takes are the pictures of the volleyball games. She’s been a major supporter along the way.

“Usually, I am always with him when he takes photos,” Rayburn said. “Or, I repost the photos that he puts on social media, so other people can see them.”

Picking up photography may have been unusual for Smith. However, aside from his enjoyment of taking pictures, there are many benefits to his photography.

“I thought of it as like a little side hustle,” Smith said. “Get a little money out of it.”

Although Smith has currently not had anyone purchase pictures from him, his Instagram is open and he is open to communicate prices about how much shots from him would be.
As of right now, Smith doesn’t have any big plans for his new business, but Rayburn hopes to see Smith’s business flourish and will be by his side.

“As soccer and everything else keeps going,” Calvert said. “He’s gonna go to more games and business will pick up, which I’m happy for him.”