DPPF Grant Winner Tyler Schank earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and became the Assistant Team Photography for the Tampa Bay Rays in the fall of 2021. More about Tyler

Tyler shares back stories of three photos from her winning portfolio.

Luis Patiño is one of my favorite pitchers to photograph. He has an exaggerated windup that makes for great multiple exposures, among other things. This night in particular, I got a rundown from Getty photographer Julia Aguilar about the frozen ball trick. While giving this a shot in the first couple innings I realized the batter was framing Patiño perfectly. I decided to focus just barely in front of Patiño’s windup, hoping to catch his face instead of the ball. I didn’t make a successful frozen ball trick photo that night but I’m not upset about it; the ball covering his eye is one of my happiest accidents.

This will always be one of my favorite images. I made this photo while working in—what I call Small Town USA—Hartington, Nebraska. Population: 1,645. Every year the town hosts the Cedar County Fair and people flock to enjoy a number of 4-H events, rodeos, demolition derby, a talent show, and two nights of big country concerts. The rodeo is held outside and begins just as the summer sun starts sinking which made this moment that much better.

If you have to be strapped into a harness to make a picture, that picture will probably be worth it. I made this photo while covering Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. It was my first big race and the photographers I was working with at the time hyped me up prior to race day by telling me I would get to photograph the start from inside a bucket truck. I was the only photographer in the bucket and got to tell the operator exactly where I wanted to be positioned. Working in a smaller town has its perks.
The DPPF is thrilled to be able to further Tyler’s promising career!