Junior Garrison Weaver may be preparing for a career in commercial real estate, but he still wanted to keep up his love of sports photography while studying at the University of Richmond.

Weaver’s interest in photography dates back to childhood, when he needed a way to entertain himself at his brothers’ baseball tournaments. He developed a knack for the art and by high school, he was a regular contributor to his school’s newspaper and yearbook. “I started with my mom’s little point-and-shoot camera,” he says. “It just blossomed into a hobby.”

After his acceptance to UR, Weaver and his family visited campus for an event for early-decision students. He decided to stop by the campus newspaper office and signed up to join the photography staff of The Collegian on the spot. “When I got to campus freshman year, I started working for them immediately,” he says.

Now entering his junior year, Weaver has covered all types of Spider sports. After photographing the new varsity club lacrosse team, he also was recruited to be a marketing intern for the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness, and tasked with photographing their sport club teams.

“I really enjoy [photographing] football and baseball — there’s just a lot of action,” he says. “But the most fun is probably men’s basketball, because you get to sit courtside. My press pass is just as good as anyone from ESPN and Sports Illustrated. I’m on par with those photographers and it makes me feel [like a] professional.”

Weaver doesn’t just enjoy sports from behind the camera — he’s a member of the University’s rugby club team. But he does use his experience on the field to help other photographers gain a better understanding of the sport. “There are so many things going on at the same time [in a rugby game] and I always take the opportunity to help out photographers. I’m a huge proponent of trying to increase participation and awareness of rugby, especially in a country where it’s a foreign sport.”

While Weaver says photography will remain a hobby, not a professional pursuit, his skills have come in handy this summer as a junior analyst with the Philadelphia office of Helios AMC, an investment management company for the commercial mortgage industry. The internship is Weaver’s first step in the field of real estate, and he has been able to lend his expertise behind the camera to take pictures of properties for the company. The finance major hopes to work in commercial real estate development, with an eye toward the rising role of sustainability.

“[The internship] has given me the best start I could imagine, because I have access to real financial statements that I can look at in real time,” he says. “Then I can go to the sites and apply what I’ve learned in finance and accounting [classes] and see the real-life side of things, not just look at the paper and the numbers. Real estate just clicked for me and that’s why I’m here, trying to expand my knowledge before I get out of school.”