Girl leaves photo department for rodeo

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Photo Credit: Ashley Ephraim | Daily Texan Staff

My five semesters in the photo department helped me decide to not pursue a career in photojournalism. While this may seem like a depressing reflection, the reality is I learned so much as a person in the basement apart from the aperture on a camera. I will always have an incredible appreciation for journalists after spending time with my peers at the Texan and seeing how much they care about informing their community. I’m sure I’ll still be reading some of their work years from now when they are in their careers.

Josh, thanks for letting a yearbook nerd freshman like me on staff, even when I got lost at Zilker Park during my first wild take. Although you’ve been an expert at photography since I’ve known you, I have never seen you hesitate to help someone less experienced. You taught me that you can never be too good to spend time teaching others. Zoe, you taught me how to be a badass woman in a leadership position. You were encouraging, organized and kind. I have so much respect for you. To Stephanie, thanks for showing me around the football stadium the first time and showing me the shortcut to get back to the basement before the other photographers.

Juan and Carlos, thank you for letting me tag along these past three semesters and, for some reason, letting me be associate editor. Juan, you have a gift for photo and I feel lucky that I’ve gotten to see your work over the years. You tell people’s stories in a way that I never could. Thank you for always being patient with and kind to me, and I will always remember us singing the Dixie Chicks together. Carlos, I really enjoyed having you as my editor. Thanks for answering my questions even when they were dumb and for really caring about our staff, including inviting all of us to your hangouts and Pizza Press every week after meeting. The optimistic way you lead people is pretty special.

I probably still wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Katie, who was the first friend I made at the Texan and is now my roommate. Katie, I’m so impressed by how much you’ve improved since we both started, and I’m so excited to see what else you’ll do.

In the time I’ve been here, I’ve photographed Woody Harrelson, the vice president, the president, football games, basketball games, baseball games, softball games, soccer games, protests, ACL, other music festivals, concerts, portraits, lectures, food trucks, restaurants, bars and chicken sh!t bingo.

But now, I must leave to join the rodeo — I’m not kidding, actually — so guys, keep up the good work. And please don’t think I’m super weird for coming to visit sometimes.