30: Student with ambiguous objectives semi-successfully pretends to be photographer for five semesters

Briana Vargas

I don’t think I knew what focal length or aperture were for the first 75 percent of my time on photo staff. I managed to keep my ignorance low-key enough to get the occasional adequate photo printed in my name. I’m also not really sure how I managed to take so many pictures without owning a camera. Also what the hell is a Wild?

Working for the Texan gave me access to a wealth of experiences. I met my fellow staffers, all incredible people. I made connections, encountered artists, political figures, cried shooting performances by my favorite musicians, and covered some of the most meaningful events of the past years as they unfolded, whether tragic or joyful, ordinary
or unbelievable.

Recognizing everyone by the distinct view of their backs hunched at the computer on account of the beautiful toil of edits and uploads is a skill I’ll miss using daily post-basement-stair-descents. I’m going to miss relating to Da Boi lying face down on the ground in Cano’s heavy boots. I’ll miss the way the evolving alphabet magnet phrases on the fridge gradually get more aggressive as the week goes by.

Thanks to all the people who let me bum gear from them over the course of my time here. Josh, I still have your 50mm but I’m thinking of legally adopting it. It’s my most treasured child, (after Carlitos and Angel). Thank you, sweet Rachel, you were the first person here to make me feel welcome as a staffer. Zoe, thank you for letting this pretender infiltrate the senior staffer ranks with her pretending. Thank you, Peter, for not excommunicating me the time I lost the SD card from my first paid assignment and for your wise encouragement and critical presence
throughout the years.

When I set foot in the Texan basement, I found an automatic focus. Things actually… clicked. As I say goodbye, I shutter to think of my time here coming to its end, but I hope I’ve
contributed to the Canon of what makes The Daily Texan great.  Truly, the depth of this field has exposed me to more memories than can be contained in any 32gb. Bouta zoom outta what’s been the prime of my time at UT, bouta bounce like them equipment closet/studio lights.