By Tia Lynn Leorchick staff writer
Kevin Liles, a photographer based out of Griffin, is halfway across the world preparing to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia for USA Today Sports Images.
The opening ceremony will commence on Feb. 7 and the Olympics will last for 17 days. “My role here for USA Today Sports Images (USATSI) involves a lot more than just taking pictures — I am working as a technician, helping wire the venues for our photographers…as well as working as a photo editor when the Games start,” said Liles.
Liles arrived in Sochi on January 13 to wire the venues to ensure fast and effective coverage.
“My role here is multifaceted. I am helping install camera remotes and running cables, doing a lot of the back-end work. I am a photo editor and my main job will be editing photos live. I am shooting some, too. I’ve done a lot of pre-ceremony coverage, showing the venues, exteriors, interiors, and security,” explained Liles.
The Winter Olympics is divided into two main venues. The Mountain Cluster, for outdoor competitions, and The Coastal Cluster, for indoor competitions. Liles will be stationed at the Coastal Cluster and is looking forward to seeing many of the competitions up-close.
“The opening ceremonies are going to be amazing. I also am looking forwad to seeing the ice hockey and figure-skating competitions,” said Liles. Liles grew up in Bostwick and graduated from Morgan County High School in 1997.
His mother and stepfather, Dianne and Hollis Perry, still reside in Morgan County. He got his start in the newspaper business in 2001 with a southern Georgia paper, The Moultrie Observer. “It was there that I fell in love with photography. I had to take a lot of my own pictures and I knew I wanted to be a photographer, to be a photojournalist,” said Liles.
After a stint at the Hartwell Sun, another local Georgia newspaper, Liles went on to become a staff photographer at the Griffin Daily News, a newspaper outside of Atlanta, until 2007 when he decided to return to school at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga. to finish his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Media Studies.
Liles worked his way through college as a lighting technician/assistant for Sports Illustrated. He graduated in 2011 and has been a free-lance photographer ever since.