Outgoing photo editor glad she expanded comfort zone

LaShauna Bell, Photo Editor

It was the end of the spring 2016 semester when I walked into the Pine Log production room for the first time. Binder in hand, I was ready to prove to my first editor-in-chief, Parastoo Nikravesh, that I was worthy of being a staff photographer. I had no idea that interview would be the start of such a big positive change in my life.

The Pine Log has pushed me out of my comfort zone. Taking photos of people and the thought of talking to total strangers scared me. I am an introvert at heart and, at most times, socially awkward. The thought of asking someone their name, major, hometown and classification didn’t sit too well with my soul.

Fast forward to today; photographing people is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t mind getting to know my subjects before snapping a series of photos of them. The past me would have never imagined the present me holding conversations with people or leading photographer meetings every Monday night.

The Pine Log has also taught me to never underestimate my abilities.

I was hired as a staff photographer for two semesters and have served as photo editor for the past three semesters. Photos from an assignment I did in the spring 2019 semester have been recognized and are now showcased in a display on the third floor of the Nelson Rusche College of Business.

I am thankful for the experiences this job has brought me. I have gotten to shoot two Lumberjack football games at NRG stadium in Houston and participate in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition twice.

If I were asked to describe how I feel about leaving this wonderful publication in one word, I would choose the word “bittersweet.” I have become so familiar and comfortable with the routine of everything that The Pine Log has never felt like a job to me. I have fallen in love, but I must move on to what else God’s plan has in store for me.

The number of friendships I have gained and the relationships I have built with people are so amazing. Thank you to my talented photographers for putting a smile on my face and filling my heart with laughter at times when I needed it the most. The many hilarious conversations that happened in the photographers’ group chat were the highlights of my semester.

Raquel Torres, it has been great seeing you successfully fulfill the leadership role as editor-in- chief. I am going to miss staying in the production room with you on Tuesday nights, waiting for the last page of the newspaper to be turned in.

To my adviser, Amy Roquemore, I can only hope that my next boss is as cool as you. Thank you, Rachel Clark, for keeping my wallet satisfied by ensuring that I get paid every pay period. To all of the editors, you all are awesome, and it has been a pleasure being on the editorial board with you.

As I try my hardest to prevent tears from falling out of my eyes and onto my laptop’s keyboard, I’d like to say one more thing to anyone who is reading this column. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. It just may be the very thing in your life that shifts everything for the better.

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