Through Luke’s Lens: Student photographer connects communities with his shots


Natalie Martinez

Junior Luke Frenzel looks through his pictures, searching for the perfect shot. Frenzel often uses the Canon Rebel T8i since it is versatile and fairly easy to use. “The rebel series has fairly entry-level cameras, which makes it pretty easy to pick up.” Frenzel said.

Sally Panis, Features Editor

As the once bright green leaves begin to turn a vivid amber, junior Luke Frenzel feels the crisp breeze on his skateboard while flying airborne in the refreshing autumn atmosphere alongside fellow skaters, who have their own personalities and stories — all told through Frenzel’s camera lens.
According to Frenzel, ever since the sixth grade, bursts of excitement and curiosity emerged in his mind, after he discovered a profound passion for photography.
His earliest photos, taken with a vintage film camera, kept him hooked and began Frenzel’s photography career with various approaches and techniques.
“My mom had a couple of film cameras from when she was a kid that she taught me how to use when I was fairly young,” Frenzel said. “The process of taking the pictures, getting them developed and having that product just kind of kept me invested and progressively experimenting with different forms.”
After doing photography for infant baptisms and a confirmation service at his local church, Jacob’s Well, Frenzel was spotted by a fellow member of the congregation and asked to join her company, Startland.
Once contracted, a diverse set of opportunities helped Frenzel define his signature as a photographer and build his experience.
Frenzel said he especially enjoys photo shoots with his friends in the skate park, local artists at concerts and even strangers on vacations. With each of these distinct events, Frenzel uses the duality of his camera lenses and knowledge to illuminate the spirit of the individual to match the aesthetic of the setting.
“I also have a fish eye lens that I like to use for skateboarding,” Frenzel said. “If they’re trying to get specific clips, then the fish eye lens comes in handy because you get so much in that field of view. It also is a kind of a staple of skate videos to have the big exaggerated fish eye lens with the vignette, it’s classic.”
According to Frenzel, as he looks at the photographs from his first professional concert shoot, the Daniel Gum Concert at Record Bar KC, the tones of green and orange make the images more intimate.
Apart from his local photography endeavors, Frenzel always carries his camera outside of the KCMO area too.
On a recent trip to Manitou Springs, Colorado this past summer, Frenzel captured one of his most cherished and favorite prints.
“It was these two guys that both had banjos on a bench outside with a little bucket as they were playing,” Frenzel said. “So I gave them like $5, and I told them to play their favorite song. They just started jamming out, and I was taking a bunch of pictures,” Frenzel said.
The look of these two men and the environment around them created the perfect moment and story for the picture, he said.
Frenzel said the energy from that occasion was terrifically captured through the camera and looks back at that photo with a fond memory.
A frequent pattern has emerged in his photo shoots according to Frenzel. Each image radiates the ambiance from that moment, and strangers love the end product.
“The small interactions I have with the artists after showing them the series of pictures that I got are normally very warm and energetic,” Frenzel said. “They’re like, “Oh that’s so cool. Add me on Instagram.”
Frenzel uses his photography adventures to establish a stronger sense of community in a large collection of areas with various types of people to grow as a person and photographer.
Recalling the nervous mindset that he once held, Frenzel said that although exploring the possibilities of photography can be intimidating, it is worth it.
“So just practice,” Frenzel said. “You will develop your style over time and as long as you are having fun with it then that’s the most important part.”