The man behind the camera

It’s Saturday night in a deserted office building. The game is over. All of the fans have gone home, except for Mark Haskett. He sits editing photos from the game, making sure they are received in a timely manner before deadlines for newspapers and online articles.

Mark Haskett has been photographing events at Western Carolina University for nearly 35 years. Haskett started as a student photographer for four years and then a part-time photographer for three years before becoming Western’s official photographer for 27 years.

Haskett has received case awards for his photography is western promotional items; he has had photos in the Asheville Citizen Times, The Charlotte Observer, and numerous publications over the years.

His photographs consist of a wide variety including promotional shots for activities on campus, athletic events, headshots of university personnel, classroom shots, student life, and anything else that takes place on the campus. “I enjoy getting to know students and being able to be out in this university setting. Being in this environment makes me excited every day I wake up and get ready to come to work knowing I’ve got those opportunities in front of me,” expressed Haskett.

Behind the lens there is a lot of communication. Haskett has to be able to communicate with the faculty and students to arrange and set up shots. Not every photo is on the
spot; there are several things that require scheduling and preparation in advance. “People kid me about knowing the weather ahead of time, but I look at the weather every day because I depend on what it is as to what I can actually do here on campus,” Haskett explains.

The biggest asset Haskett brings in his photography is his love and passion for Western.
Western is where he met his wife, Tammy, and where his two daughters, Brittany and Emily, currently attend. Western is not only a school, but it has been a
home for Mark and his family.  “Having such a connection makes my love for the place even stronger and I really want to see Western succeed in every aspect,” says Haskett.