They say a picture is worth a thousand words and nobody knows that more than WPDN partner Frank Neville. Neville, in addition to his work as one of the most well-respected attorneys in Wyoming and beyond, is also a part-time photographer. His love and dedication to the craft has led the rest of WPDN to bestow upon him an incredible gift.
“The partners of my firm got together, unbeknownst to me, and arranged to sponsor the naming of the brand new photography suite at Casper College after me,” Neville said. “The Dick and Marialyce Tobin Visual Arts Center was donated by Dick and Marialyce Tobin, obviously. However, they have different labs and teaching areas within it and Casper College offers the naming rights to those areas. And my firm, knowing that I love photography, agreed to sponsor the naming of it.”
For Frank Neville, this was an incredible honor. The law will always be his first passion, but photography is certainly a close second.
“I got my first camera when I was probably about six or seven years old,” he shared. “It was an old Kodak Brownie. I don’t know why, but I’ve always just had an interest in photography. But I was never really able to pursue it until I started practicing [law]. And even then, I didn’t pursue it very much because, number one, I was always busy; and number two, that was before digital cameras came in, so we were dealing with film cameras.”
Meaning, actually photographing and developing the photos were costly and time consuming.
“It was a lot of work and it was very expensive,” Neville stated. “So every shot, you had to think about it. Because you know you’re gonna pay for it every time you take a shot.”
But photography, like most things, evolved.
“In the late nineties, the digital movement really came into being,” Neville remembered. “And that’s when I got my first digital camera and was able to really pursue photography with a passion.”
That passion has endured for decades. And though the equipment has changed, the artist’s eye has not…even though Neville doesn’t actually think he has an artist’s eye [he does].
“I don’t think I’m good,” Neville laughed. “People tell me that I am but I’m never satisfied with the pictures that I take. I take pictures for my own enjoyment. I think most photographers do. It’s the pleasure of the process, first of all – finding a composition of something and then being able to frame it upright and dial in the exposure and the shutter speed and so forth. And then, to see the results of that; it just gives you pleasure if you’re lucky and you get a good shot.”
Neville could not answer the question as to his most favorite photo that he has taken but he did offer to opine as to his best shot: “It’s the next one I take.”
Neville stated that that he prefers to shoot landscapes as opposed to people, but he has been known to make exceptions.
“Just in the last year or two I’ve started trying to teach myself how to take pictures of people,” Neville stated. “So I’ve started to take pictures of my favorite people, and my favorite favorite person to take pictures of is my beautiful wife. She’s very photogenic and I love taking pictures of her.”
Photography may not be defined as a love language, but actual photographers know that’s exactly what it is. To take a picture is to capture something he sees as beautiful and then share it with the world. That’s what Frank Neville loves doing almost as much as practicing law. His partners knew this, which is why they wanted to honor him the way that they did.
“I was shocked,” Neville revealed. “Totally shocked. I get sort of choked up every time I think about it. They kept it a total secret and it’s just incredible. They worked with my daughter, Denise Bressler, who is the Executive Director of the Casper College Foundation, to arrange this.”
Neville said the dedication took place a little while ago, and while he was blown away by the act of it being named after him, he was even more blown away by the photography suite itself.
“The photography suite at Casper College is state-of-the-art,” Neville beamed. “They have the latest, most advanced computers and digital printers and they have an absolutely tremendous setup for actual film photography. Film is starting to make a comeback, so students can learn how to use film and develop it. They have darkrooms and they have enlargers. And it’s just amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the more advanced photography suites for students in the nation.”
When the suite was dedicated to him, Neville said, it was one of the best days of his life.
“It was mind blowing,” he laughed. “I was never so proud. A lot of my partners were able to attend, which made me feel great. But also having my daughter and family members there was just great. She ran the ceremony and I was just a very, very proud person. I was proud of my firm and I was proud of my daughter.”
He should have been proud of himself, as well. Colleagues don’t do that kind of thing (and they certainly don’t spend that kind of money) for people who don’t deserve it. But Frank Neville more than deserves it. As one of the premiere attorneys in Wyoming and beyond, Neville has built his own reputation, and the reputation of WPDN, as one of the most trusted, well-respected establishments in the Rocky Mountain region.
But as good of an attorney as Frank Neville is, he’s an even better human being. And don’t tell him this…but he’s a pretty good photographer as well.
Neville offered his immense gratitude to his colleagues at WPDN. He could wax poetic for days to his friends and his partners for the honor that they bestowed upon him. He could offer them a thousand words of thanks.
But he’d rather just give them a picture.