NPC Flics, a photography brand that captures ARHS athletes in action

Neil Cunniffe has turned a love of photographing sports into a business.

ARHS’s junior class president Neil Patrick Cunniffe runs a sports photography business/brand under the name NPC Flics. Since 2020, Cunniffe has photographed the athletes and crowds at ARHS sports games. Cunniffe is also an athlete himself, playing on the ARHS football and baseball teams. He posts his pictures on his Instagram @npc_flics, and ARHS students and athletes regularly repost the images. Cunniffe’s love of photography started with his mother Shilpa Cunniffe, who has been taking pictures of his and his siblings’ games for years. This year, Cunniffe has started to make a profit off of his work. 

AOS: Where did your interest in photography start?

NC: Around the summer of COVID I played on a baseball team and my mom Shilpa would take photos of the game. One day I asked if I could take photos and she said yes. That’s where it all started and it’s been about two and a half years since.

AOS: Why sports photography? 

NC: I got into photography by taking photos of baseball. When people on the team saw how they turned out and liked them, I continued to take pictures. At the time, I would download the pictures and send them to the athletes for free.

AOS: Do you have to adapt to take pictures of athletes in motion?

NC: I have to focus so much because every game is super fast-paced. I feel like I have to pay way too much attention to the game. However, I really enjoy it because you become really invested in whatever sport you’re watching. I like how it’s different from taking pictures of my friends because the players don’t stop moving. Over my time taking photos, I’ve used multiple different settings, shutter modes, and shutter speed priority. I started only using the sports mode setting but realized it doesn’t work in situations like at night. I’ve learned to switch the shutter speed down if there’s an athlete still and switch it up to take multiple shots for an athlete in motion. Being in control of the camera is helpful when taking pictures.

AOS: How has NPC Flics become a success?

NC: NPC Flics has been a success in a couple of ways. The Instagram I started has close to 500 followers. I’ve been able to talk to a lot of new people in the school because I’m taking pictures for their games. With NPC Flics, I’m able to expand not only my photography brand but my connections with others. NPC Flics has also been great for our school community because it allows people to connect.

AOS: Have there been any difficulties with photography and NPC Flics?

NC: I worked for free for two years which was difficult because I put around ten hours a week into work that I was not paid for. I even had to get a new computer because downloading the pictures takes a lot of time. Now I charge for pictures, $50 for the season, and $10 a game.

AOS: Is it easy to balance NPC Flics with other responsibilities in your life? 

NC: Sometimes it’s easy, other times I’m taking pictures and downloading them up until midnight. I will put off sleep to make sure a post comes out. It also takes up a lot of time because each game is about one and a half to two hours and I’m going to four to five games a week. I also balance being class president, working as a tutor, and working as a ref. It’s a lot but I don’t mind it. I really enjoy taking photos and it’s a fun thing to do. 

AOS: What is your plan for NPC Flics in the future?

NC: In the future, I’d like to expand into other forms of media like mixtapes, and expand so my content is more than just sports. There are steps I want to take but right now I have a lot of stuff going on. I plan to continue NPC Flics next year, and I am excited to keep meeting new people. As a senior, there’s a lot more to do, but the support I’ve received from students in my grade has encouraged me to keep taking pictures.

AOS: Do you plan on continuing photography in the future and in college?

NC: I have been told by others who do photography to not go to school for photography. But if I end up going to college, I would like to continue photography on my own time. I also like the idea of taking pictures for college sports teams.