Monday, October 23

Isaac Arjonilla: _Capturing the crazy journey_


Blaine Ohigashi


This article is part of the Daily Bruin's Graduation Issue 2012 coverage. To view more multimedia, galleries, and columns, visit

The table is cluttered, the room is empty and the moon illuminates the room. I sit here, trying to conjure a cleverly written introduction to my column.

Wait, I’ve got it.

I had just brushed my teeth and was getting ready for bed. It was early spring quarter of my second year, and I was particularly excited this night because I was anticipating a call from the Daily Bruin’s photo department.

Right before I fell asleep, I got a notification on my phone. It was an email from the photo editor. I didn’t get in.

It’s been over two years since I received that email and things got better.

I was later accepted, and became the jerk who sends the rejection emails to hopeful and aspiring photojournalists.

The amount of work is incessant; I spend more hours working a single day in Kerckhoff 118 than I do in an entire week of class, and the stress, though motivating, is unavoidable.

I have never been happier in my life.

But this isn’t about me. It never was.

This is about all of those faces that believed, the faces that made this column possible, the faces that made this journey memorable. Thank you for trusting, listening, and being there.

In one year, I’ve tried to improve the function of the Photo department in the newsroom, I’ve seen my photo run in the New York Times and been offered an editorial internship at the U-T San Diego.

Here is where this Cinderella story ends, the one about the guy who got rejected (twice) and was lucky enough to have been given a chance to prove himself.

The table remains cluttered, and I still sit alone, accompanied only by the moon’s glare. I’m getting ready for bed and I’m once again feeling particularly excited because now, for the first time in a year, I’m not anticipating a call from the Daily Bruin, or a text, or an email.

I’ve finished the journey. I’m holding my camera, peering through the viewfinder, remembering everything it saw this year. I may have run out of film, but now I’ve got all of these memories captured.

I mean, that’s the whole point of taking pictures, right?

Arjonilla was a 2011-2012 editor, 2011 staff photographer and 2010-2011 photo contributor.

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