The man behind the lens
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Brian Jeremiason has become an excellent story teller. Jeremiason, a Minneota native who has been a photographer for the Mascot over the past year, recently garnered a first-place photography award in the Better Newspaper Association contest as part of the Minnesota Newspaper Awards Banquet last Thursday.
His award was in the category for Minnesota weeklies with a circulation of 1,500 and under.
“I've always enjoyed taking pictures,” he said. “I like how you can tell a story through a picture.”
Jeremiason's award-winning shot, called “Under the Lights” was taken through a “fish-eye” lens at a high school baseball game in April at K.P. Kompelien Field in Minneota.
“I always take baseball pictures down on the field by one of the dugouts,” he said. “I had taken all the photos I thought I needed at this game so I had gone up into the stands to watch the rest of the game.”
With the sun starting to set, the stadium lights came and Jeremiason was inspired to take one more photo.
“It was a beautiful night and with the sun going down I thought it looked like a chance for a good picture,” he told.
“I put the fish-eye lens on and went behind the catcher and took a shot through the (chain-link) fence.”
The result was a captivating scene. The links of the fence acted like frames for the picture. The center link captured the action on the field, while a lower-left portion of another link framed the on-deck batter, and an upper-right portion of a third link framed one of the tower lights.
“It was a lucky shot,” Jeremiason said, humbly.
“It caught the links just right and made it look interesting.” Judges called the photo “A unique shot of an otherwise ordinary scene. It's framed well, too”. Jeremiason started taking pictures for the Mascot by chance.
He was taking photographs at his son's C-squad basketball game in Tracy last year and then stuck around for the varsity game. “I was asked to take some pictures and send them to Byron,” Jeremiason said, referring to Mascot Publisher Byron Higgin.
“He liked the photos and asked me if I would like to take more pictures for the Mascot.” Jeremiason has been manning a camera for the Mascot ever since. Photography piqued Jeremiason's interest at an early age by watching his grandfather, Robert Berghs, working in a newspaper darkroom.
“My grandfather used to own the Wabasso Standard when I was a little boy and I remember watching him develop pictures in the dark room and that's probably what first got me interested in pictures,” he said. “And I've been interested ever since.”
Jeremiason graduated from Minneota in 1992 and first went to college at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and eventually graduated from the Colorado Technical University. His first job was with Gateway Computers in Sioux Falls.
But after getting married to his wife Davett in 1998, they soon realized they wanted to raise their family in a small town and returned to Minneota. The Jeremiasons currently live on a farm 3 1/2 miles southwest of Minneota with their two children, Grace, 17; and Jackson, 15.
Jeremiason has been employed in the Marketing/External Relations Department for Lyon/Lincoln County Electric Cooperative in Tyler for the past 14 years. He also has established a photography following with images he captures for events such as sports, weddings or family photos.
“A few years ago I helped my sister, Marcy, take some pictures for weddings and things,” Jeremiason said. “I then took some family pictures for a friend and she posted them on Facebook. Some people saw them on there and liked them and asked me to take some pictures for them.”
He then started Jeremiason Photography and takes photos for sporting and special events, while still shooting interesting pictures as a hobby. While Jeremiason notes that his favorite things to take pictures of are children and landscapes, he has viewed much more than that through his camera lens.
“Because of my job, I tend to travel a lot,” he said. “I bring my camera with me wherever I go. If I see something that looks interesting, I'll take a picture of it.” Among the myriad of images Jeremiason has captured through his lens, he lists three as his personal favorites.
One of those is a sombering photo of a veteran pushing another veteran in a wheelchair along the Vietnam Veterans Wall in Washington, D.C.
The reflection of the men in their veteran’s caps is captured in an almost ghostly image in the shiny black marble wall; with the names of the service men in white letters clearly visible through their images.
That photo received first place in the Rural Electric Magazine's monthly contest this past November. It placed second for Photo of the Year.
“My daughter and I were in Washington, D.C. and I saw the men coming and thought it would make a great photo,” Jeremiason said. “I really like how that turned out.” Another of Jeremiason's favorites was his breath-taking photo of the Minneapolis skyline just after Prince died. “I was at a meeting in Minneapolis and I took the photo from a walking bridge over the interstate,” he said.
“You could see a purple haze glowing from the lights some of the buildings lit in honor of Prince.”
And Jeremiason's other personal favorite picture was a night shot with a multitude of stars shining brightly above the emerald green grass with chalked yard lines in the football field at K.P. Kompelien Field in Minneota.
While an author might tell a story in his own way, a photo can tell a story in whatever way it appears to the person viewing it.
And Jeremiason has told many different stories with his camera.