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Seeing the Nest Through His Lens

David Le ’10
During Commencement, Photographer David Le ’10 won Endicott’s Staff of the Year Award. Le attributed the honor, voted on by students, to connections he’s made with the tight-knit community across campus.
By: Madison Schulman

David Le ’10 has been there to capture some of the sports world’s biggest moments. When Tom Brady was in his prime with the Patriots, Le captured every ball thrown and touchdown made. In 2014, he photographed the infamous Patriots ‘Deflategate’ game at Gillette Stadium. A true New England sports fan, he’s also worked with the Boston Bruins—grabbing shots of the players shredding ice during Stanley Cup playoff games.

But while he loves to be behind the camera at big stadiums, for Le, nothing compares to working and photographing his home at the Nest. Growing up, he used to run around the College, as his mom worked as vice president of what was then called the undergraduate college. Le eventually became a Gull himself, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in visual communications, and a concentration in photography.

After several years of working for news outlets across the North Shore, Le returned to the Nest in 2017—now, years later, every student recognizes him by his camera and knows his name. A mentor to young photographers across campus, Le also teaches sports photography.

After his Staff of the Year win, we sat down with Le to learn more about his passion for capturing bold photos, working with students, and beyond.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

What made you want to be a photographer? When did you pick up your first camera?

I was drawn to photography from an early age. As a kid, I remember playing with my parent’s film camera and taking photos during holidays and family gatherings. In college, I was a photography major but it took my senior internship to realize I might be able to make a career for myself as a photographer.

My senior internship was at The Salem News, where I learned from veteran photographers Mark Lorenz, Ken Yuzskus, Amy Sweeney, and Paul Bilodeau. They were so helpful to me as a young photographer, answering my millions of questions and giving me advice and feedback to make me a better photographer. Until my internship, I had never really thought about working at a newspaper, but I grew to like the variety in the day-to-day assignments and the fact I could shoot a lot of sports.

How would you define your photography style?

I think my style is punchy and bold, using high contrast and making images pop. I want to draw the viewer in, show them what I see, and capture the best moments around me.

Besides sports, what is your favorite thing to capture on campus?

Outside of sports, my favorite thing to capture is student events. Since our campus community is so tight-knit, going to events and seeing many of the same people time and again is nice and allows me to meet and talk to a variety of people.

What’s one piece of advice that you give to your photography students?

I tell all my photography students to explore any opportunities thrown their way. You’ll never know where you might develop a passion, make a connection, or find out something about yourself that could shape your future. I try to emphasize making strong connections with people because the impressions they make now could end up paying dividends in the future.

Out of all your photos, which one is your favorite? Why?

Difficult choice, but I think the photo of Julian Edelman diving into the endzone is my favorite.

Patriots game

Besides photography, what are some of your hobbies?

Outside of photography, I enjoy playing hockey and watching sports (mostly hockey and football). I also enjoy binge-watching TV shows and spending time with my family. Summer is a perfect time to have a bit of downtime from the regular school year and enjoy the (hopefully) nice weather.

You also photograph professional sports in your spare time. Talk a bit about working for teams like the Bruins and the Patriots.

Being able to do some work for the Bruins, and TD Garden, and cover Patriots games (for my former newspaper) is such a fun and exciting experience. Yet when all is said and done, it’s work, and sometimes I don’t realize how fortunate I’ve been to cover what I have. I’ve been lucky to photograph everything from holiday toy shopping with Bruins players, to the Bruins Centennial Gala, football and hockey playoff games, and an AFC championship.

You’ve been at the College for a long time. What made you want to work for Endicott? (Besides being an alum!)

Endicott’s community is unmatched and makes working here an enjoyable and rewarding experience—I get to work with some amazing and talented people, and some of my closest friendships outside of work are because of Endicott. Even after all these years, it still feels like a family.

What does winning Staff of the Year mean to you?

It’s truly an honor to win Staff of the Year. It’s not something I expected to be nominated for, let alone win, but it’s my proudest career accomplishment. Whenever my time at Endicott is done, hopefully, I’ll be remembered for the impact I’ve had on students while they’re here, and for being able to capture moments they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives.

You mentor and work with a lot of student photographers on campus. What do those relationships bring to the College? What do you love about working with students?

The students are always teaching me. I don’t want to get to the point in my career where I sit back and let new trends, ways of capturing and editing images, and different ways to photograph the same events pass me by. My goal is to teach students whatever I can from my experiences and set them up for success after they leave here. I also want to be there for them if they need advice or just an ear to listen—sometimes that’s what they need. I take great pride in helping students get the best out of themselves and hopefully succeed in the real world once they leave Endicott.