Lucas Peltier, a senior at UNLV, double majoring in English and Journalism Media Studies. He is a familiar sight around campus with a camera around his neck and carrying a bench step.
He is rapidly gaining recognition in the sports world for his unique eye and ability to capture the emotions of the participants. Through his lens, he is able to tell stories that go way beyond who won or who lost an event. With his ability, one would imagine Peltier has been photographing for years. On the contrary, this is a relatively new talent for him. While taking a photojournalism course in the fall of 2018, he quickly developed a passion for photography.
Peltier said, “I realized that my passion could turn into a career was when I started photographing other sports besides taekwondo. Before I had the mindset that taekwondo is the best and everything else is garbage, but once I photographed other sporting events, I recognized that there are similar moments in every sport- teamwork, determination, rivalries, victory, and loss.”
His initial foray into this field began with photographing his own sport, taekwondo. Being familiar with this incredibly fast-moving sport gave him the insights as to when to anticipate a great shot or crucial moment in a match.
After stumbling across a flier in Greenspun Hall, promoting Rebel Report, Peltier thought it would be a great opportunity for him to gain more experience. The Rebel Report is a student-run sports broadcast and social media platform. It provides students with opportunities to network, learn and gain real-life experience in the field. Unlike other programs affiliated with universities across the United States, Rebel Report has access to cover professional sports teams like NBA, NFL, NHL, PDC US Darts Masters Tournament, PGA Golf, and the UFC, among others. Members are able to cover all levels of sports and can truly get an idea of what it would be like to cover sports as a career.
“It has provided me with opportunities that I could have never done by myself.” Peltier said, “It has given me a glimpse of what I have to do to reach my goal.”
The opportunities are endless in the Rebel Report, just like the many relationships you build in the organization with like-minded individuals such as Fenhus Kebrom.
Kebrom, also a journalism major with a concentration on sports journalism and a member of the Rebel Report, shares the same interests as Peltier.
“I believe Lucas is one of the most hard-working individuals I know. He’s always striving to better himself as a photographer. His photography is top-notch.” Kebrom said. “He is the best photographer I know.”
Of the sports he has recently covered, one of Peltier’s most challenging assignments has been the PDC US Darts Masters Tournament. There were many games, a lot of them back to back. He found himself working 10-hour days and then having to edit and submit his photos to his editor in order to meet his deadline.
“Lucas is always on top of things and I admire his work ethic,” Kembrom said. “I believe he’s going to make it far in the media world with the determination he possesses.”
Peltier gives credit to his mother for his hard work and dedication.
“I encourage him to take every opportunity he can and to focus on learning more and be better than he was before,” Renee Peltier said. “I want him to believe in himself and know that he has what it takes and to keep working on his craft.”
An internship with UNLV Football provided Peltier with challenges and learning opportunities. In a big game against archrival Nevada Reno, he missed getting a photo of the cannon, post-game, as he had intended because a fight broke out between the two teams.
“It showed me that sports are unpredictable, and I have to take a photo at every given opportunity,” Peltier said. He was recently asked to work the Big-League Weekend and the Mountain West Basketball Tournament.
With graduation looming in the fall, Peltier hopes to work for a major sports team in the Las Vegas area as a PR photographer. The opportunity to be creative and travel to major sports venues excites him.
“Never get discouraged by mistakes. He said. “Photography is like a race, some people might get it faster or fall, but everyone eventually reaches the finish line.”