BYU Photo's Incredible Sugar Glass Football Photo
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Out of the Blue


BYU football player busts through a sheet of sugar glass.
Photo by Jaren Wilkey

BYU Photo director Jaren S. Wilkey (BA ’01) finally captured an image he’d always wanted: a football player bursting through a pane of glass.

Disclaimer: it’s not real glass. Instead, Wilkey borrowed a classic Hollywood recipe for simulating glass—with sugar.

“The hardest part was just trying to make sure that it would work,” Wilkey said. And it did—but only after hours of painstakingly cooking (and accidentally breaking) many giant sheets of fragile sugar glass in his home kitchen.

The effort was worth it to create what he calls a “thumb-stopping” image, with real people and objects, in an age of endless scrolling and digitally manipulated photos. “When you see something . . .  you’ve never seen, it makes you stop.”

Watch a behind-the-scenes video.