COLUMN: Life as seen in the pictures

Lance Booth

“Click” goes the shutter of my camera. No sleep. Edit photos. Click. No sleep. Edit photos. Skip class because I have to photograph that one thing. Click. No sleep. Edit photos. Drink. Party. Hangover. Catch up on other classes. Click. Rinse and repeat. This has been college for me.

I’m a double major in photojournalism and sociology, but photo always took a front seat. Click. Edit photos. Attempt to make it to my sociology class. Repeat. It is a constant fight to get the best photos for class, the Herald, the Talisman, an internship or whatever I’m shooting for.

Photojournalism majors, or PJs, can be seen around campus with our cameras, lenses and lights, taking pictures of everything. We bug you so we can photograph you, but it always turns out well in the end for everyone. Click. Hi. My name is Lance Booth; can I photograph you? Click. Get caption information. Edit photos.

This entire PJ thing not only affects my life as a student trying to get through college, but it also affects my personal life. I’ve had times when I didn’t go home for Christmas because I was shooting a project. I’ve left a girlfriend at 3 a.m. when I was in bed so I could go shoot. I’ve literally lived with people so I could try to get that “moment.” I’ve missed birthdays, missed holidays, missed events, all for me striving to get a better photo of, well, whatever. Click. Miss something. Edit photos. No sleep. Repeat.

So why do I do all this? Well, there are multiple reasons. I can give a voice to people who don’t have one; that’s one reason school tells me why I should do this. Tell someone’s story in a visual way – that is the other reason that school tells me. Those are reasons I do this, but this job/major is incredibly fun too.

I get to meet tons of different people. I get into sports games and concerts for free, and I get closer than anyone else. I get to experience many different things every single day and besides all these reasons, I just love taking pictures. Click. Meet new person. Ride in a hot air balloon or something else awesome. Edit photos. Click.

The friends I’ve made in this major are the best friends ever. Seriously, PJs stick together. I would say it is like a fraternity, but it is closer to a family. Honestly, I’m closer with plenty of people I’ve met in this major then I am to my actual family.

The people in PJ are my friends, peers, family and competition. It is an odd relationship, but, alas, we still party together, which involves much drinking and picturing making. Click. Drink. Vomit. Dizzy click. Pass out. Look at the insanity you got into last night. Edit photos.

Our relationships are different. If you are one of those people that dislike having their picture taken, well, you should never date a photographer, photojournalist, PJ or whatever you want to call us.

I’ve taken pictures of my significant others when they were sleeping, when they were getting ready, even when they are crying. It might not be the best idea to first pick up a camera when I’m in a fight with my significant other, but I need to capture this memory. Click. Date. Click. Kiss. Click while kissing. Fight. Click while fighting. Give the photos as a gift. Click. Repeat.

Alas, my college career is coming to an end. I’ve been in college since fall 2006. I’ve taken 132 credit hours and 10 photo classes, completed three internships, saved about 99,072 photographs, worked for the Herald and Talisman for about 2 1/2 years each and have built the best relationships I think one can have.

So what am I going to do when I graduate on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010? I’m going to start it with shaking Gary Ransdell’s hand, then lean back with him, while smiling. Click goes the shutter, and so begins the rest of my life.