Finding Surprising Appreciation – The GW Hatchet

Media credit: Photo by Arielle Bader

Each year, graduating editors receive a final 30 column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

If someone had told me in sophomore year when I joined The Hatchet that I would eventually be the sports photo editor, I wouldn’t have believed them. My very first photo assignment was a GW men’s football match on the Vern. However, I quickly discovered that my favorite part of being a Hatchet photographer was not attending sporting events, but getting out of the Foggy Bottom bubble to visit new restaurants, see unique murals and attend at local DC events.

When the pandemic started in March 2020, all those fun outings stopped. After doing countless photo illustrations of computer screens, I started reminiscing about amazing photo opportunities that were #OnlyAtGW moments. I missed photographing the random protests outside Kogan Plaza, amazing speakers like José Andrés and Dolores Huerta, and surprisingly sporting events.

That said, when the sports photo editor position opened up last semester, I took a chance and really found an appreciation for sports photography. The energy of the crowd and athletes at the games kept me on my toes and excited. It was a steep learning curve, but I improved my visual literacy, gained photo editing skills, and had plenty of slices of pizza in the basketball media room. Some moments on Sport Pace that I will never forget are the dogs jumping rope during halftime shows, getting seasick while photographing sailing practice in the Potomac and of course, the time where my camera and I nearly got knocked out by a basketball.

Despite graduating amid these strange times, I feel more prepared for what lies ahead in my photography career thanks to my time at The Hatchet where I had the privilege of visually documenting moments like these:

Sydney Walsh | photo editing assistant

Camille: I will never forget the night at the red eye market where the only thing we got out of it was a snapshot. Thank you for always being someone I can rely on for your honest opinion, your appreciation of calico, and for being a great friend. It was amazing to watch you and your photography grow, I can’t wait to see where life takes you.

Grace: Your dedication and drive is incredible and something I will always admire about you. Despite your busy schedule, you always find a way to meet deadlines and stay on top of everything. I have no doubt that you will succeed whatever you do. I hope you are making the most of life and taking the time to enjoy it!

Danielle: I can’t wait to see your creativity flow as a feature photo editor next year! I’m so excited to see the work you do as a photojournalist and where you take on the GW chapter of NPPA. Your drive, dedication and brilliant ideas will certainly move the photo industry forward.

Aude: I’m so glad you joined the photography team this semester! It was great to have your energy present. Thank you for photographing all those basketball games last semester. It was wonderful to watch you grow. I’m sure you will lead the photo team next year with grace and success!

Jordyn, Rachel and Krishna: It was so great to see you all at photographer meetings and see your work! Good luck next year. I know the photo team is in good hands!

Former editors: Arielle: When I first met you, who knew we’d spend more time together in Florida than in DC! Thank you for all of your life advice and Hatchet advice over the years, introducing me to the Taylor Swift podcasts and convincing me to be the sports photo editor. I can’t wait for our next road trip!

Family and friends: Thank you for always supporting my goals and your words of life wisdom outside the world of journalism!

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