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Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Senior photojournalist Kaylie Clem reflects on her time on The Feather.

Ever since joining The Feather team, the last three years have been filled with countless days completing photo assignments, posting on Instagram and writing photo posts. With this chapter of my life coming to a close, I excitedly look forward to what lies ahead of me.

I am so thankful for the growth I experienced during my time on The Feather. I feel prepared and ready to take on whatever my future holds.

Joining the photo journalism team my sophomore year, I had no idea what I was in for. Throughout the first year, I learned how to operate a DSLR camera, write as a journalist and most of all, step out of my comfort zone.

Over the course of two years, the timid form of myself that first joined blossomed into the confident person I am today. I joined expecting to learn how to be a photojournalist, never expecting I would learn so much about myself along the way.

Looking back on my time on The Feather, there are so many examples of growth. One of my favorite memories is with my adviser and mentor Kori Friesen. It took place at my first sports game photo assignment.

I was tasked with shooting boys soccer, and, of course, it was raining that day. Due to the weather, not only did I have to take on the challenge of my first sports game shoot, but I also had to keep the camera protected from the rain. As Friesen and I squatted side by side, huddled under the umbrella on the sidelines, I asked her why I couldn’t get the players in focus. Turns out, the lens was on manual focus and first-year me didn’t even know what that meant.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Starting off as a tricky task, sports photography grew to be one of Clem’s favorite events to shoot.

It’s situations like these that make me smile looking back on them. The growth I experienced is so amazing. This year in particular I grew in a new manner on the team. As I took on the role of photojournalist editor, I learned what it takes to be a leader.

Our photojournalism team jokes that I am the “team mom,” constantly sending out reminders and trying my best to take care of everyone. I discovered that this was one way I could contribute and do my part on the team. As an upper class leader, it became important for me to help my team as much as possible. I worked side by side with the newbies, teaching them and sharing tips and tricks I’ve learned over my three years of experience.

Another positive aspect to The Feather is the opportunities to connect with other classmates and advisers. Older members, ‘veterans’ as we call them, are always willing to teach the newcomers. I am so appreciative of friendships and mentorships I formed with older, wiser teammates throughout my years.

Part of the fun of being a photojournalist is capturing friends during school activities. One of my favorite photoshop projects I created this year was from the Homecoming Royal Battle. I featured each king and queen candidate in an individual photo, then in photoshop, and collaged them together. (Image in slideshow)

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

One of Clem’s favorite photos took place during a football game when fake snow showered the student section.

Thanks to The Feather, I have been able to cover various events such as homecoming and others around the community. I covered Town Hall lectures, New York City streets, Miss Tahiti interviews, and one of my favorites from this year, the  ClovisFest Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Photographing school and community events have allowed me to perfect my style. With this, I am able to apply the skills taught on The Feather to my own photography business.

None of my growth would have been possible without some people who helped me along the way. First I’d like to thank my three advisers: Kori Friesen, Greg Stobbe and Robert Hyatt, who have become my mentors and school parents.

Friesen, thank you for not giving up on me and encouraging me to grow into the photographer and person that I am today. Thank you for seeing past my lacking skills and mentoring me in the world of photography and life.

Stobbe, thank you for ripping up my papers when I was new and making me start my writing all over. Thank you for being the perfect example of tough love, and for always wanting me to do my best. Thank you for encouraging me when I needed it most.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Over the last three years, Feather staff grew to be family, especially with Fikse and Friesen.

Hyatt, thank you for lightening the mood of the lab and always fixing everything technology with your magical powers. Thank you for helping each of us find the fun in whatever we are covering.

Another person my journey would not be the same without is my fellow editor and photo sister, Julia Fikse. Julia, thank you for being my rock and my second half these last three years. Thank you for literally finishing my thoughts, encouraging me always and being a better teammate than anyone could dream up. The person I am today has been so greatly and positively shaped by you, and for that I can not thank you enough.

If you are considering joining The Feather, I would strongly encourage you to. Though the workload is intense, the bonds formed and growth experienced is worth it all. The chance to learn from, and work with, Stobbe and Friesen is an opportunity I would not recommend passing up.

To read more senior reflections, check out ‘Senior Reflection: Julia Fikse‘.

For more articles, read COLUMN: Richie Cortez reflects on softball’s bounce-back season with Ellie Scully or Track finishes season, breaks multiple school records.

Next year, Clem will be attending Point Loma Nazarene University where she will be studying liberal studies. After college she plan on teaching kindergarten and continuing her photography through her personal business, Kaylie Grace Photography.

For more Feather photos, visit media, photos 2018-19.

Slideshow below includes some of Clem’s favorite images she has taken throughout her three years on The Feather.

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