Shooting for the Cougar Call

The past couple of years, my camera has become my best friend, my plus one and my road tripping pal. But the lasting adventure we’ve been on for the past two years has been that of photographing for The Cougar Call. I say adventure because Louis (my camera) and I are always tackling a new project together, and we have just about seen it all on our journalistic adventures.

Sometimes it’s a football or basketball tournament, other times it’s portraits for a feature article. Whatever our task, there’s usually quite a bit of a challenge and/or fun involved, just like in any other good adventure. Occasionally, we run into obstacles, usually while we’re trying to make a deadline. Go figure. We’ll get so very close and BOOM, best laid plans are blown to smithereens.

The elementary school teacher you were supposed to photograph and interview calls in sick on your scheduled interview day. Or a student has been gone for multiple days for the many extracurricular activities they are involved in, including the specific one your newspaper staff is writing an article over. You just know the article won’t be complete without a picture of them with their medals, but that’s pretty hard when it feels like they’re never at school. This leaves a lose-lose decision to make: publish without the photo you want or push your deadline back a day or two.  

It’s like choosing between lima beans and brussel sprouts. Both leave a bad taste in your mouth. This is a common reality for our kind which never makes the decision any easier.

Even the assignments that are supposed to be the easiest, most fun will not be without their challenges.

This has been the case for one of my most recent assignments. I’ve been working on my photo gallery for the Oklahoma Scholastic Media On Deadline competition. This is something I love doing: my hobby, my passion, my future career.  However, I have had so many obstacles come up with this assignment, it has diminished some of my excitement.

The requirement is to take pictures representing springtime and growth around your campus and inside your school. Sounds easy enough, right?  WRONG.

It’s hard to take pictures around your school, when you aren’t there. I had a role in the AHS Drama Club’s production of The Little Mermaid, and of course, the deadline for the photo gallery falls during the final rehearsals and actual performances of the play, leaving me drained emotionally and physically, with little time or energy for this assignment or Louis.

When I have been able to get out to take photos, it’s been raining or gloomy. Nothing showcases the beauty of springtime quite like dark skies and desolate clouds. I’ve had to be creative to come with another way to represent the growth at AHS, and just days before deadline, I finally figured it out.

There is usually a creative way to fix a challenging situation. It just takes a little brainstorming sometimes, and brainstorming just happens to be in my skill set as a student journalist.