Home Photo On the other side of the lens

On the other side of the lens

From teaching photo workshops in the frozen Yellowstone National Park to the sunny skies of Mexico, and even in her own backyard on the Buffalo River in Island Park, a communication faculty member, Caryn Esplin has allowed her art to take her on many adventures.

Esplin owned a graphic design business and authored Visual Focus, a textbook now used by a handful of universities. But many of her clients asked for photography. She converted her design knowledge to the camera in order to communicate a different visual story.

virtual learning
Esplin giving a presentation over Zoom. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias

“The more I got into photography, the more I loved it,” Esplin said. “It’s endless, how much you can learn and it’s so enjoyable to be out shooting instead of spending all your time behind a computer. It allows you to travel and study fascinating things in-depth. So I love teaching how to use a camera and edit images to tell a visual story and the endless learning that comes with photography.”

Most people don’t know how important education is to Esplin. Through studying educational technology in school, Esplin is able to use that knowledge to help her understand how her students learn and become better teacher.

Enjoying nature with Esplin. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias

Diving in and experiencing culture is one of Esplin’s specialties. When BYU-Idaho sent her on the Enlighten Tour to photograph and video the landscapes, people and their culture, she agreed in a heartbeat. Esplin attributes trips like these to sharpening her skills and progression of her self-education.

For those who wish to follow along her journey across Europe and Asia, Esplin created a website to display her photography and experiences in these new lands. She even includes photo tips on her process for many of her photos on her Instagram account.

Esplin capturing a photo. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias

If students take one word of advice from Esplin, it would be to be versatile. Esplin understands the importance of branching out to avoid having too narrow of a skill set.

“You want to have a good variety of skills so that it opens up the doors to a lot more job opportunities,” Esplin said. “With the visual communication emphasis, you can end up getting a lot of different jobs, and then get more in-depth training on the job. Having versatile skills can open a lot of doors.”

Esplin kneeling in the snow to get an interesting angle.
Esplin kneeling in the snow to get an interesting angle. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias
Walking out into the Buffalo River, Esplin throws on her boots to get interesting shots. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias
photo prints
Esplin showing off some of her work. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias
snow mobile
Esplin riding in style to get to unique photo destinations. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias
Esplin sitting in the snow looking for what to photograph next. Photo credit: Juleen Mathias


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