Commentary: End of year wrap-up
As she joined photojournalism her junior year, Cayla Rivas had no clue what she was getting herself into. Photojournalism presented new challenges and a lot more work than most anticipate. However, through the constant coaching and encouragement from adviser Kori Friesen, Rivas grown not only as a photographer or a journalist but as a person.
This year I’ve gained a work ethic that I acquired only through joining The Feather. I learned to constantly have the mind of a photographer, always looking for the next picture and anticipating the next shot. Learning how to multi-task was a huge lesson I learned over the course of two years.
Sitting in classes, working on school work while editing pictures or writing was one way I learned to complete my tasks on time. We often had to create social media posts, wirelessly transferring images from camera to phone and make a quick post about the current event while still shooting an event at the same time.
These skills I’ve gained are skills I can carry on with me to future jobs, without being flustered or feeling too overwhelmed with the tasks presented to me. Being apart of The Feather team really is a job, and if you don’t contribute your part, your spot on the team is not guaranteed.
This year, I had the opportunity to go to New York for the second year in a row, to the 94th annual CSPA Spring Convention as a Gold Crown finalist. Since the beginning of the year, our team knew what our goal was. We also knew it would take a lot of work to get there, but our hard work and determination payed off. A few days before the trip, a girl fell on me in cheer with an elbow to my temple.
Upcoming photojournalists, don’t drag your feet when it comes to doing Feather work! Give it your all and jump at every opportunity to take pictures you can! You’ll gain new skills and improve from every experience. — Cayla Rivas
After a series of tests, I was diagnosed with a concussion and told I wouldn’t be able to fly for at least a week. I sat in the hospital chair devastated as I felt as though all of my hard work crumbled in front of me. With one drop of a stunt, the biggest event I looked forward to all year was taken from me. I knew I couldn’t let myself get sad about it. So instead of trying to feel sorry for myself, I focused on the things I was grateful for and with some last minute changes a day before the trip, we were able to send another photojournalist, Bethany Pouliot, in my place. Through this I was able to rejoice through my losses and encourage my team from California.
As a photo team, Friesen gave us a lesson on street photography, taking us to Fulton Street in downtown Fresno. I hadn’t experienced street photography before that day. Through that experience, I learned to observe more and to be stealthy while shooting the environment around you. People get uncomfortable and act different when they know a camera is around. Capturing street life without being noticed presents challenges but is very rewarding when you get the perfect shot.
In the future I’d like to continue using my photography skills. Coming onto this team, I wasn’t comfortable with shooting people and preferred to take pictures of landscapes or objects. But after two years of stepping out of my comfort zone, I gained a new found passion for taking pictures of people.
Upcoming photojournalists, don’t drag your feet when it comes to doing Feather work! Give it your all and jump at every opportunity to take pictures you can! You’ll gain new skills and improve from every experience. What you put into this program, you’ll gain twice as much. Being a member of this team is often challenging and stressful, but it is very rewarding! Deciding to join this team was one of the best choices I made in my four years of high school.
Friesen and co-adviser Greg Stobbe instilled life skills and confidence into me. They always encouraged me, always believed in me, and always pushed me to be the best I could be. I’ll forever be thankful for the time and energy they’ve invested in me. Thank you for all of the time and energy you invest in the team and in us personally, I’ll always appreciate everything you’ve done for me.
Senior Cayla Rivas will attend Fresno Pacific University in the fall and plans on majoring in business.
For more Feather commentaries, read Senior Reflection: Mariana Fikse and Senior Reflection – Juliana Lozano. Plus check out COLUMN: Roman Endicott says inspiring endeavors ahead. And be sure to leave a comment on our latest article on Robert Foshee: Longtime multiple-sport campus coach, academic teacher.
As part of her final requirement in photojournalism, Rivas posts a year-end photo collage below.
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