Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Josh Perry
It was about an hour after the sun went down that Corryn Brock made her discovery. She and her father had driven around Charleston for around three hours before stopping at a closed automotive dealership on the outskirts of town. Brock’s original intent was to get the sunset, but as the fireflies emerged from the night with their sparking bodies, an idea sparked in her as well.
After a few weeks, her discovery won her best in show.
Brock is a photographer. Her passion for taking photographs has been a constant throughout her life, a personality trait that she never had reason to question.
“I like looking at pictures,” she said with a coy smile, “so I thought I might as well take some pictures.”
Brock said working with cameras is enjoyable for her, and she believes there is plenty of space for creative freedom.
“[I enjoy] just being out there and learning all of the different angles that you can use and settings–what you can really do,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have, you can always take good pictures, you just have to work hard for them.”
Brock’s prodigious interest in shooting photographs has earned her significant prestige. Her picture “Firefly” won best in show in the Matoon Art Council Photography show. As Brock explains it, the conclusion of the awards ceremony astonished her.
“I was surprised because I wasn’t getting any awards at all,” she said, “…and I was like, “OK, that’s gonna be it. The very last one for students was Best of Show, and they called my name, so I thought that was really awesome.”
Brock’s father, Bob Brock, saw his daughter receive the award. He said he began to feel nervous when Corryn wasn’t getting any recognition.
“I saw some of the other pictures that were winning awards, and I thought that it was odd that she hadn’t won anything yet,” he said. “They kept calling names, but she ended up winning Best in Show…it was kind of a nail biting experience as well as exciting.”
Bob has always been a major supporter of Corryn’s interest in photography, he said.
“It’s always been a part of her,” he said. “She’s always enjoyed taking pictures, whether it was a small polaroid, film camera, digital camera–it’s just something she’s always been around.”
Her motivation for maintaining her hobby displays a snapshot of Brock’s personality, and her unique sense of humor.
“I wasn’t allowed to shoot people, so I shot photographs,” she said. “It’s something that’s very relaxing.”