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The Cameraman…..Dentist Captures Special Moments In His Free Time

By Tom Kendra

MUSKEGON–Tim Reilly dusted off his outdated Olympus 3 Megapixel digital camera within the early 2000s, with an ulterior motive in thoughts.

I began taking photos as a method to be concerned in my children lives, with out getting in the best way,” defined Reilly, who’s married to Shelly, and their three youngsters – Rosie (31), Megan (28) and Mickey (26) – are all Muskegon Catholic Central graduates.

He found shortly that he had a knack behind the lens. And that he beloved it.

For the subsequent 10 years or so, Reilly was EVERYWHERE at Muskegon Catholic – taking pictures his daughters’ theater performances and expertise reveals, then quenching his thirst for sports activities with liberal doses of MCC soccer, basketball and baseball.

Reilly linked up with the Native Sports activities Journal in 2011, and the 2 have been a dynamic partnership ever since.

He has additionally turn into a fixture on the Michigan Irish Music Pageant and the Milwaukee Irish Fest, shortly turning into a favourite of the bands (his pictures now adorns the covers of 5 totally different Irish music albums).

But it surely was when he put these two passions collectively – sports activities and Irish – that Reilly made his desires come true by bursting onto the scene at his private promised land:

The College of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

Reilly shot his first soccer sport at Notre Dame in 2011 and has steadily moved up the ranks in South Bend. Over the previous decade he has additionally shot Irish males’s and ladies’s basketball, hockey, volleyball, lacrosse and now’s the official photographer of the ND Pom Squad and the ND Dance Crew.

Reilly shakes his head and laughs on the development.

I’m dwelling my dream doing these things,” Reilly stated. “I suppose it’s a reasonably good story, as a result of the pictures began from nowhere, as a method to be extra concerned with my children. I had no concept the magnitude it might develop into.”

Picture courtesy of LSJ photographer Tim Reilly at a Notre Dame soccer sport vs. Navy in 2021

Assembly in Mendon

Reilly’s partnership with the LSJ began with a gathering within the small, southwest Michigan city of Mendon in 2011.

LSJ Writer Jason Goorman approached Reilly after the Crusaders’ crushing 28-21 loss to Mendon in a district championship sport and inquired about probably utilizing a few of his images with their story.

Reilly’s response goes to the center of his unselfish nature.

Something you need,” Reilly stated. “In truth, I can ship you a hyperlink and be at liberty to choose and select what you want.”

And that’s the way it started. Reilly has given an identical reply to many alternative folks at MCC, Irish festivals, Notre Dame and varied different organizations. Reilly, who has labored for the previous 33 years as a dentist and now co-owner at Nice Lakes Dental Excellence close to The Lakes Mall in Muskegon, has by no means charged greater than a nominal payment for his pictures.

I’m actually pleased with him,” stated Shelly, who met him when the 2 had been each in dental faculty at Loyola College in Chicago. “He does all of it for the best causes – to profit others. That’s simply the type of particular person he’s.”

Reilly stated the true cost for his pictures is that it brings him nearer to the passions in his life: his household, the Catholic Church and Catholic training, Irish music (which reminds him of his grandfather, who performed the squeezebox) and sports activities, as he grew up taking part in baseball each day in his hometown of Los Angeles, Calif.

After graduating from highschool in 1980, Reilly headed north for faculty at Gonzaga College in Spokane, Wash. He graduated from Gonzaga in 1984 and that very same 12 months, his father tragically died of a coronary heart assault on the age of 53, however he knew that his son had already determined to comply with in his footsteps and attend dental faculty at Loyola.

He met Shelly, who’s one 12 months youthful, at her freshman orientation and the 2 have been collectively virtually ever since.

The Reilly’s did contemplate taking on his father’s follow in Los Angeles, however they determined as an alternative to maneuver to Whitehall in 1988 and be part of her father’s dental enterprise and have lived in the identical home ever since.

I’m so grateful for the folks right here and the alternatives they’ve given me,” stated Reilly, who now has a 4-year-old grandson, Braxtyn. “I simply need to take nice images and provides them to folks. Nothing’s higher than strolling into somebody’s home and seeing your photos on the wall.”

Picture courtesy of LSJ photographer Dr. Tim Reilly through the North Muskegon women soccer semifinals in Comstock Park in 2022

An artist at work

Reilly will flip 61 years outdated in August, however he nonetheless brings a childlike enthusiasm to the whole lot he does.

He nonetheless will get excited speaking about MCC’s 2006 state championship soccer sport – the primary sport he shot at Ford Discipline in Detroit.

I used to be the primary one on the sphere that morning and Mike Holmes was second,” Reilly stated, speaking about Holmes, who’s his good pal and a Corridor of Fame prep coach. “I used to be so stoked and I nonetheless get that means.”

Reilly is a perfectionist who works exhausting each day to make Nice Lakes Dental Excellence the easiest it may be – and there’s little doubt he brings that very same aggressive nature to his pictures.

He has labored tirelessly at pictures over the previous 20 years, observing the methods of extra skilled shooters, watching YouTube movies to choose up tips on how one can greatest {photograph} totally different sports activities and always upgrading his tools. Reilly is now a mentor to the workers of volunteer photographers at LSJ.

Sometimes, his dental and pictures worlds collide, as they did when he was taking pictures for LSJ at North Muskegon’s women soccer state championship match earlier this summer season at Michigan State College.

Two of these smiles on that North Muskegon group had been mine,” Reilly stated with a smile of his personal.

He has turn into such a fixture and so well-known on the sidelines that many individuals don’t know that he has a full-time day job.

I like dentistry as a lot as I like pictures,” defined Reilly, who has no plans to cease doing both of his passions anytime quickly. “So folks ask me on a regular basis how I can do each and my reply is all the time the identical. You find time for the issues that you just love.”

Past the digital camera

Lance Armstrong wrote a ebook in 2000 entitled “It’s Not About The Bike” – understanding that the impression of what he did transcended biking.

The identical may very well be stated about Reilly, as his images are solely a part of the story.

The best way he interacts with the youngsters is basically wonderful,” stated Shelley, who can also be a dentist at GLDE and is understood to cowl her husband’s shifts when he’s away taking pictures an occasion. “Tim simply has that optimistic nature. When he sees that they’re down, he’ll give them a pep discuss.”

His impression on the scholars at Muskegon Catholic has been so profound that he was the varsity’s commencement speaker in 2012.

The highly effective connection he has together with his topics is very obvious in his work because the official photographer of the Notre Dame Pom Squad, a job he began 5 years in the past.

Reilly turned one thing of a counselor over the previous 16 months, serving to the squad via the cancellations and different challenges of Covid, then obtained a heartwarming video thanks from each member of the group.

I’ve turn into a way more assured chief and I couldn’t have completed that with out your fixed assist and steering,” Caroline Leonard, the captain of this 12 months’s Pom Squad, stated in her video. “Thanks for the hours and hours you set in to make us really feel that we had been actually doing one thing worthwhile.”

As a lot pleasure as he will get from creating a lovely smile for one in all his sufferers, he will get an identical satisfaction from listening to in regards to the impression of his pictures periods and subsequent photos.

I’m a 60-year-old hanging in a 20-year-old’s world,” stated Reilly. “Hopefully, I can add some perspective to their lives. I simply inform them to not fear. As tousled as issues appear, it’s actually good on the market and they’ll get there.”

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