The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter

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Nate Yonamine | Assistant Visual Editor
Pamela Smith, managing editor.

During my first year of college, I kept a daily question journal. Every day, I would answer a different prompt about my life — favorite food, most recent TV show — in what was supposed to eventually span over a five-year period. I’ve since lost that journal, but I still remember how it felt to reach the page that asked, “What is your dream job?” 

At that point, I had been working at The Pitt News as a staff photographer for a few months, and had covered maybe one protest and a few portraits. I had applied as a news writer, but my application got rerouted to visuals because of divine intervention, I’m sure. One of my photos had recently made the cover, and my roommate took a photo of me with several copies while waiting way too long for the 10A. I wanted to major in neuroscience on the pre-med track, like every other first-year, and go to medical school. Or do research. Or some other job that required a much higher chemistry grade than the one I had. 

And despite all that, I wrote “photojournalist” in that journal while curled up in my dorm bed, holding it like a secret. At the time it was probably a little foolish — I didn’t even delete files off of my one SD card, let alone know how to compose a photograph “correctly.” But in a way it felt right, or at least interesting. After all, a photo tells a thousand words, or something like that, and I loved collecting little moments like they were grand stories.

I applied to be a visual editor at the end of my first year — after a lot of encouragement from my roommate — and somehow ended up with the head position. For two years after that, I had the privilege of taking tens of thousands of photographs at some of the most interesting Pittsburgh events, spending countless hours in my cubicle (until Big Open Layout took that away from us) and working with some of the best people I’ve met at Pitt. I got to hire other photographers and illustrators and watch them make cool and inspiring work. The Pitt News basically became my major, with a minor in “sending emails.” 

Then, I became the managing editor. Now singing a little bit of a different tune, I spent even more hours in the office, and learned that the 71D stops running around 12:30 a.m. very quickly. I also learned just how much damn work it takes to run this place, and I was only assisting — imagine how much our fearless leader Betül was doing. I got to learn about journalism, alongside photojournalism.

It’s weird looking back at the fall of 2020 from this point. I didn’t really participate in high school, I just kind of drifted from day to day waiting for the next one. All I wanted in college was a new start, and the confidence to pursue what I was passionate about. 

I’m so incredibly grateful for my time at The Pitt News. Graduation still hasn’t really set in yet — it still feels like I’m going to be in the office again Monday night, chit chatting with my coworkers and friends about every thought that enters my mind, possibly even interrupting that for a little game of office kickball or hallway sprints. How lucky am I to have a place that pushed me out of my comfort zone, gave me direction, introduced me to some of the most creative and hard working people I know, and also opens up so many possibilities for every student in it. And of course I’m endlessly grateful for the Pitt community, for allowing us into their spaces and for doing some cool and interesting things that I got to immerse myself in and photograph. I’ll end this column with some of the photos that I’ve taken for The Pitt News — I could write a thousand more words about each of them.

About the Contributor
Pamela Smith, Managing Editor
Hello! My name is Pam and I am the managing editor of The Pitt News. For the last two years I was the visual editor; this is my fourth and final year with TPN. I am a senior English Writing and History/Philosophy of Science double major. I love photographing sports, cultural events and portraits, and sometimes I write news stories.