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Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Junior Julia Fikse ends her second year as a photojournalist, May 24.

Following in my sister, Mariana Fikse’s, ’18, footsteps, I decided to join The Feather my sophomore year. Eager to learn about photography, I signed up for photojournalism rather than journalism like my sister. Right away I realized it is nothing like I anticipated and it requires lots of my time outside of school.

The class stretched me beyond my comfort zone, allowing me to grow as a photographer and writer. 

I entered my second year on The Feather as a junior with much more confidence than sophomore year. With a foundation already set in place on The Feather, I was able to spread my wings and tackle much larger tasks. 

My goal for this year is to capture all sides of student life. Sports, class trips, class projects and senior spotlights assist my abiblity to capsulate all types of photojournalism.

Sports and other action photography is one of my favorites to shoot. I enjoy capturing soccer games over any other sport because of the outdoor experience and the excitement of the game. The challenge of soccer is lighting and making sure the ball is in focus. Sports photography requires lots of concentration in order to get the ball in focus, along with the players. At first, taking pictures of soccer and sports in general, was difficult and frustrating but I learned to be patient with myself and kept trying.

Unlike any other class, photojournalism sets me apart from others. These past few months have shown me what I am capable of and give me confidence in my work.  At the begining of the year I was always nervous taking pictures of big events and especially portraits. It took lots of practice to feel comfortable shooting portraits.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Photojournalists photograph elementary students on campus along with JH and HS.

With photo adventures, my teammates and I would practice photographing portraits. These practice sessions allowed me to practice what I’ve learned with people I’m the most comfortable with. Now, when I take pictures of people, it comes much more

My favorite memory of taking pictures this year has to be when we traveled to New York City to compete in theColumbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Gold Crown competition. This is the second year I took on The Big Apple with The Feather, and I was eager to take on the challenges ahead of me. With almost a camera in hand every hour of the day, I got to practice different techniques given to me by adviser Kori Friesen. She taught me how to shoot motion pictures and to always have a photographer mindset. NY was a tremendous learning opportunity for my team and I and it was an honor winning the CSPA Gold Crown with them. Earlier in the semester, The Feather was also named a National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Pacemaker Finalist of which I am also very proud. 

This year really allowed me to experiment with camera skills and try new techniques. It helped me find my style in photography and gave me the foundation to start my own photography brand. With my skill continuing to blossom, my adviser Kori Friesen pushed photojournalist Kaylie Clem, ’19, and I to start photography accounts and websites. This was a huge step for both Clem and I and we were eager to take this next step into our profesional careers.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Photojournalists (left to right) Kaylie Clem, ’19, Julia Fikse, ’19. and Blake Deffenbacher, ’20, work together to accomplish daily photo posts and The Feather’s social media.

Two years on The Feather has taught me beyond photography, writing and proffesionalism; it has shown me that if it is worth the reward it won’t be easy. The Feather can be hard work but in the end it will pay off and the accomplishment of sticking through it all and growing as a person as well as a student is a reward in itself. 

I want to thank my mom and dad for always encouraging and reminding me there’s more to life than school and to enjoy each day as it is. I also want to thank my sister and phototeam for pushing me to do my best and helping me along the way. Blake Deffenbacher, ’20, Clem and Mariana always made second period journalism enjoyable and somehow still productive. 

Lastly, I want to thank my advisers Friesen and Greg Stobbe for teaching me everything I know and investing their time into me. I appreciate all the tips and tricks they teach me and for never giving up on me even when I’ve wanted to quit. 

As junior year comes to a close, I anticipate the excitement and thrill the class of 2019 will bring not only to The Feather, but to the school as a whole. I’m ready to grow even more in photojournalism next year and can’t wait for what’s in store for my team. 

For more articles and photoposts, read Senior Reflection: Cayla Rivas and End of the Year Reflection: Kaylie Clem and/or a recent article by our student body president, read COLUMN: Roman Endicott says inspiring endeavors ahead. For one of last year’s senior reflection, read Senior Reflection: Jarrod Markarian.

Slideshow images below show pictures from this school year and other events.

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This author can be reached via twitter @juliafikse via email: Julia Fikse.

For more Feather photos, visit media, photos 2017-18.

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