Student photographer makes name for himself

Oct. 24, 2011

April Wefler
[email protected]

If you’ve played a game of pool at University Center, then you have most likely already seen Isaiah Branch-Boyle’s work.

While photography serves a different purpose for everyone, for student and professional photographer Branch-Boyle, photography is a tool that can be used to tell a story.

One of Branch-Boyle’s stories is now on exhibit in the University Center. The piece is entitled “Story of Human Soul” and uses pictures including that of a policeman, a criminal, a homeless woman and a rich man.

The pictures aren’t of the people – they’re of their eyes. “There’s this open-ended idea that the eye is the window to the soul,” he said. “I used social contrast – age, criminal status, wealth to show this idea.”

Branch-Boyle has been shooting for about four years. “I picked it up as a hobby and took a trip to Mexico, shooting photos in an orphanage there,” he said

He started out with shooting a lot of landscapes in his hometown. “Durango, Colo. is a beautiful area,” Branch-Boyle said.

He moved on to people and is now going to shoot both. Branch-Boyle wants to show how people interact with their surroundings – an environmental portrait.

The freshman has shot senior portraits and different events for over two years. He has been shooting professionally for about six months to a year.

Branch-Boyle now thinks of photography as more than a hobby or a part-time job; it’s a way to make a living.

He has taken trips to Los Angeles and other places to shoot band events, as well as shooting bigger events in the community with other photographers. Branch-Boyle has been in his local newspaper, the Durango Herald.

He has also won some photo contests, ranging from local to magazines. Additionally, he has put on some shows to display his pieces.

With all of the success he’s had because of his photography, it may come as a surprise that Branch-Boyle has never taken a photography class.

“I don’t know how much more someone can teach me,” he said. “My method of learning is to always teach myself.”

Since he’s never taken a photography class, Branch-Boyle isn’t majoring in photography. He’s going to school for communication, specifically to learn more about digital filmmaking.

Branch-Boyle sells his photography, but it depends on the job, location and client. The prices can range from low to high and examples of his work are available at

He isn’t concerned with people seeing what he sees in Story of Human Soul. Instead, Branch-Boyle said, “Look for yourself. What do you see?”