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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 4 months ago

SUMMER SCHOOL ZONE: Gabriel Gonzalez's journey with photography

It's never too late — or too early — to start shooting photos.
by: Guest Writer




Something I often notice is that most photographers are gifted their first camera at a young age. From there, photography sticks with them forever — almost as if it was meant for them. 

But from my experience, you don’t need to start at a young age; you can start at any point in your life. Your journey could begin when you are 6 years old or even 50 years old. My journey started when I was 14.

Starting my freshman year, I was placed into my school’s journalism class. From there, I joined the school’s yearbook club, where I eventually learned how to use a camera. I got most of my hands-on experience with a real camera near the end of the school year. I started using beginner Canon cameras and then quickly shifted into SIGMA sports lenses. I usually took photos of sports and events around campus. 

The yearbook was published around that time, and some of my photos were used in the book. During the summer, I took pictures of events for seniors, such as the seniors painting their parking spot, with the school’s camera. Occasional events such as these gave me the practice I needed to develop my photography skills. 

School started again, but this time I was playing a heavier role in the yearbook club, where I was taking more photos. After school, most of my time was spent attending sports games or school events taking pictures. 

Photo by Gabriel Gonzalez

The feeling of seeing the shot I was looking for after I uploaded them was truly memorable, because it meant that I did a good job and was growing as a photographer. Even with little to no equipment, I was still able to learn so much about a new skill that I never even realized I would have the chance to get.

I continued to take photos for my school and made many connections from photographing other clubs and sports.

From the two years I’ve been taking pictures for my school, I’ve realized anybody can start from scratch with photography. Every photo has a story behind it — regardless of what camera you have. Whether it’s the camera on your phone or a professional camera, you’re always going to be capturing an incredible moment, and that is the most important part. 

Everyone starts from somewhere at any point in their life. Your journey with photography will be different from everyone else’s, and even though everyone starts at a different point, we all strive to capture the same perfect moments.

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