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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Senior Reflection: Aubrey Graham


It is incredible how many memories 13 years at one school can hold. Hours spent on the playground, countless group projects, innumerable field trips, unending laughs, many tears, piles of homework, amazing friends, winning a Valley Championship, finding a passion for worship and photography and three years on The Feather. As the end of my senior year wraps up, I am finding these memories resurfacing along with many more. Fresno Christian has provided so many opportunities for me over the years, but I am especially thankful for my time working on The Feather Online. 

I joined The Feather team as a confused little sophomore. I knew that I was mildly interested in photography as a hobby, but was not planning on pursuing it due to how expensive camera gear can be. Once I stepped into The Feather lab and experienced my first photography lesson, by advisor Kori James, something shifted inside of me and I knew I was meant to be part of the team.

[/media-credit] In the fall, Graham will attend Grand Canyon University and study Advertising and Graphic Design, while continuing to grow her photography business, Aubrey Mica Photography.
My first semester on The Feather was very frustrating. I was upset that complicated skills such as camera settings, writing and editing did not come to me quickly or naturally. All I knew was that I had an eye for a good photo. 

On one unfortunate day in the lab, I was disassembling my camera and I dropped the lens. After that moment, I was distraught, in debt and ready to quit. I felt like a failure and like I would never catch on to the skills I needed to be successful in the class. Thanks to some encouragement from my teammates and advisors, I decided to give The Feather one more try before transferring out.

The second semester of my first year went a lot smoother. All the skills I had been taught aligned and I found an effective workflow. I suddenly knew exactly what I needed to do to complete the jobs I was asked to do and I finally started not only enjoying but becoming proud of my work. I am thankful to everyone who encouraged me to keep moving forward through my rocky start.

Returning for my second year on the team as a junior, I came ready, excited and expectant to grow. I got to build upon what I had previously learned and acquired skills beyond the basics, which advanced me to become a better photojournalist. 

Learning within a classroom is very important, but what truly broadened my knowledge was shooting opportunities outside the classroom. Experiences such as Serve Day, Town Hall meetings, Yosemite, the Blossom Trail and many different sporting events. Going outside of those four walls taught me how to change camera settings quickly in different lighting, recognize more creative angles, shoot outside of the box, how to mix textures and how to make a subject feel comfortable.

[/media-credit] Graham currently specializes in portraits and senior photos.
Looking back on my three years on The Feather, now as a senior photojournalist editor, it blows my mind how much I truly gained from this class. I received lifelong friendships, a newfound love for photography, confident writing and interviewing abilities, my own photography business and excitement for what my career holds.

My senior year on The Feather was very different than I thought it would be. When I was asked to be a photojournalist editor, I did not know how much my ‘yes’ had in store. I had to be confident in every skill to help answer any questions the younger classmen had and help them grow in their abilities. It was a difficult and busy job, but such a rewarding position. I am so thankful I got to learn and grow with each member of this team and help lead them to success. 

As Taylor Beckworth, ‘23, and I grow out of our editor positions and hand it off to Julia Castiglione, ‘25, I would like to give her a few words of encouragement.

Julia, you have such a kind soul. People naturally gravitate and get along with you. It is difficult to have a conversation with you and not smile and I want to encourage you to use this as you grow into the next photo editor. Do not be afraid to bring corrections to your peers because you are beyond knowledgeable and so talented at what you do. Enjoy every moment on this team but don’t forget to pour time into your own skills and growth as well. Do not hesitate to say yes to every opportunity. I know you will do amazing things on this team and I am so proud of you.

[/media-credit] Did you know James has watched Graham grow up since kindergarten at Fresno Christian.
I would also like to thank the two people who saw the potential in me from the beginning, Kori James and Greg Stobbe.

Stobbe, thank you for pushing me in ways I did not know I even needed. Thank you for all the stern corrections that startled me at the moment, but planted a permanent seed of growth in my writing abilities. Thank you for sharing your infinite knowledge with me.

Kori, thank you for being more than a teacher. Thank you for supporting me inside and outside the classroom and having boundless patience with me throughout the years. You will be the first person I call when I get my first media job, and it will be all thanks to your outpour of knowledge and encouragement. 

Lastly, I would like to encourage anyone who is considering taking The Feather in upcoming high school years: stick with it. The first year may be difficult and discouraging, but if you allow yourself to take constructive criticism and learn from advisors such as Kori and Stobbe, you will learn so much about your own capabilities. The Feather is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, it can be for you too.

After graduating from Fresno Christian High School, Graham will attend Grand Canyon University in the fall of 2023 where she will study Advertising and Graphic Design. Graham hopes to join the media team at GCU and continue to build her photography business, Aubrey Mica Photography.

For more photos, visit the Media page.

For more senior reflections, read 

The following slideshow contains some of Graham’s favorite images she has taken throughout her Feather career and growing photography business.

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Aubrey Graham
Aubrey Graham, Photo Editor
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