For someone who went into high school only knowing I was going to play on the baseball team, my experience led me down a path I could have never imagined. For those who haven’t been to many of the high school Pioneers’ games, I can usually be found sprinting down Lieder Field with my camera, or perched in the corner of the basketball court with all of the action inches from my face. I have been doing sports photography for the past 4 years, editing and distributing my photos for all of the students, parents and community to see. Alongside of this was my schoolwork, which I was able to excel at and keep a solid GPA, as well as save time for myself to hang out with friends. I attend at least 45 sporting events each season, editing and distributing around 100 photos from each one. Hours upon hours of editing these photos is for certain the thing I will miss the least moving on the college. Why I did this, you might ask, especially when it is all volunteer work?

Well, perhaps it might be a good time to explain how exactly I became interested in photography, and believe me it is extremely unconventional. It was near the end of 8th grade, and while chatter among my classmates included summer plans, and all sorts of other things, mine included working on plans with my middle school photoshop teacher, Mrs. Jacqueney. I was always the best graphic design artist in her class, often serving as a second teacher when she needed extra assistance, or if she was absent on any given day. She knew she could trust me. She came to me with a very interesting offer, asking me if I wanted to join a new club she was starting up at the high school: the photo-journalism club. I really had no idea what it was, but if she thought I might be interested, I figured I would probably enjoy it. With that, I joined her club in my freshman year. Initially, I was assigned to be a photo editor only, due to my photoshop skills, but I soon learned that I wanted to try doing more for the club. My sophomore year, in a deep conversation with my parents, my dad and I bought my camera, the one I still use today, and used the rest of my sophomore year to learn about photography, growing my love for it even more. My junior year, I was named to be the club leader, and I took the spot of my good friend Hannah Caminiti, who was leader before me. I knew I had big shoes to fill, considering the awesome work that she did. I also took over the Instagram page she ran, which had been a long-time goal of mine. Parents, teams and coaches often reach out to me in thanks for my pictures, which has to be my favorite part about of all of this.

And getting back to that original question, why I decided to do all of this? Well, it’s rather simple. I love sports photography, and I love making people happy. If my photos are doing that, putting smiles on peoples’ faces, then I am definitely doing something right. It all started from a question from Mrs. Jacqueney, wondering if I wanted to join a club that I had no idea what it was. My love for photography was meant to happen, there’s no way it wasn’t, it’s just a matter of how it was presented to me. This experience taught me that trying new things is something to tackle, to want to do, not to run away from. Hopefully my experience will motivate someone to find a new hobby, a new passion, or even a new career, regardless of if it comes through unconventional means.