Photographer Spotlight: Trevor Mahlmann

Photography jobs come in many shapes and sizes and call for a broad spectrum of different equipment. What tools you use greatly depend on the type of photography you plan on doing. Some photographers like to do it all, so their most essential piece of hardware is a big camera bag full of everything they could possibly need.

For Trevor Mahlmann, his most essential camera is his iPhone. Mahlmann is a Social Media Marketing Intern for Purdue University. He is among a team of professionals that run the plethora of social media accounts for the University. I followed him around today while he documented the newly-activated Engineering Fountain and it was astonishing to see him work.

In an age where cameras have become a bit of a taboo and where internet celebrity attracts huge attention in the real world, Trevor did his job with the suaveness of a secret agent. Purdue’s Instagram account has over 30,000 followers, over three quarters of the student population. Their Facebook page has well over 4 times that amount of likes. Yet Trevor was able to take the photos he planned on sharing without anyone giving so much as an interested glance.

“The coolest part about being an intern,” Mahlmann revealed to me in an interview, “is interacting with everyone on campus somewhat anonymously.” The 30,000 strong that view the University’s Instagram posts don’t put much thought into the humans behind it, which is in many ways the sign of a successful brand. “The most challenging part is how much you have to think about being professional… especially [when representing] a high class institution like Purdue.” Mahlmann has to put every effort into speaking like the students expect the University—an otherwise inanimate entity—to speak while still keeping things interesting and entertaining.

For more of Trevor’s work, you can check out @lifeatpurdue or @tmahlmann on Instagram.

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