Kristina Boyle '23, Photojournalism

Kristina Boyle ‘23 created an individualized major, photojournalism, so she could combine all of her interests into one: the study of art, creative writing, and animal husbandry (the science of breeding and caring for farm animals).
When making her college decision, it was important to Boyle that her school had a close community, small classes, and low student-to-faculty ratio.
“Although I already had a sense of what I wanted to study, I also longed for a deeper relationship with the Lord and to have professors who were excited to share their faith in the classroom,” she said.
Initially a zoo and wildlife biology student, Boyle knew she needed to change her major after having difficulties with the biology and science coursework. Despite her hard work, Boyle was disappointed to shift her focus because she couldn’t imagine having a career that did not involve working with animals. So her adviser, Karyn Collie and mentor, Anna Meadows, helped her navigate the process of changing her major to photojournalism and supported her when the journey was difficult.

“I was encouraged to identify my strengths and the classes I excelled in (art, writing, animal husbandry), then I selected the classes within those programs I was interested in,” she said. “I was so relieved that the classes I chose have exceeded my expectations and helped me reach my academic goals.”
Boyle knows that hands-on experience will play a vital role in helping her make career strides with her specific set of skills.
“I really enjoyed digital photography, which allowed me to refine my photography and editing skills,” she said. “I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone, because I was intimidated by the process at first. As I became more comfortable with my photo subjects, I loosened up and learned to enjoy taking photos even if they weren’t perfect every time. Photography is giving me critical thinking skills: when the image I picture in my mind doesn’t come full circle, I look at it from different angles and try to be patient with the end product. I’ve learned a lot about myself through photography: sometimes when I see the big picture and my goal isn’t feasible or needs a different approach, it’s best to try a more impromptu solution.”
Boyle is now excited to pursue a dream job with an organization like National Geographic or Animal Planet, traveling with their team or conducting individual fieldwork research.
“Though I thought I was called to study zoo and wildlife biology in a traditional way, I’ve learned that God has something better in store for me,” she said. “Now I can take beautiful images of animals using my understanding of their history, behavior, and diet, which seems like the best of both worlds. And through other classes that have helped me become a more proficient writer and editor, I’ve learned how to create content like media posts, informational essays, and film reviews. I am excited to put the pieces together and hope that I will gain an opportunity to travel the world and witness the wildlife in different countries.”