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Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer

Photographer lies on floors, stands on tables to catch the perfect shot in photography competition

Sophomore Brielle Hall stands behind speaker David Knight during a session on column writing to snap an over-the-shoulder shot. Hall took a multitude of pictures, but choose only three to submit to the ILPC on-site photography competition.

Sophomore Brielle Hall stands behind speaker David Knight during a session on column writing to snap an over-the-shoulder shot. Hall took a multitude of pictures, but choose only three to submit to the ILPC on-site photography competition.

Peyton Hatcher, Staff Writer

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Four days ago, she didn’t even know how to turn on a camera.

Now, sophomore Brielle Hall scurries around a classroom at the University of Texas, equipped with a Canon EOS Rebel T3, a spunky floral dress and a new-found desire to win a photography competition.

“Wow, you must be a really good photographer,” a student says to Hall as she crouches on the ground, attempting to shoot a worm’s eye view of speaker David Knight giving his session on column-writing.

“Little does she know, I started this on Wednesday, so that was a really big compliment,” Hall said afterward with a giggle.  “I felt honored.”

Almost every statement Hall says is followed by a snicker or an eye-roll.  She hardly ever stops laughing.  Her fellow staffers describe her as “spontaneous”, “curious”, and “blatantly honest – in the most hilarious of ways.”  In fellow CTV staffer Midori Brown’s words, “There ain’t no one like her.”

“She’s exuberant in everything she does and is ecstatic in every possible way,” sophomore Kaitlyn Vana said.  “She likes asking questions and is extremely curious.  I think that curiosity helps her in this.  She’s really not afraid of anything.”

To catch “true emotion” in her photographs, Hall has been seen peering from atop chairs, crawling between students’ desks in crowded classrooms, and even sprawling on the ground in front of Lori Oglesbee’s session on satire writing.  Hall received texts from her adviser, Kent Smith, throughout the day, reminding her to try different compositions and move to different places around the room.

“So what did I do?” Hall asked.  “I moved around. I even went on the floor.  And this girl does not get on the floor.”

Currently, Hall serves as a writer for the Celina High School online newspaper, but is looking for a slot as photo editor for her junior year.

“She needs her place to shine,” Smith said.  “Brielle’s got that in her and if she will let it out and spend the time with it and find that passion for it, then before she leaves, she can be one of the best in the country. She’s got a natural eye and dropping her into a situation like this forces her to develop it more.”

The last time Hall operated a camera was in her freshman year Journalism 1 class.  She only practiced for a week leading up to the ILPC competition.

“I didn’t really know that much,” Hall said.  “I remember Mr. Smith telling us about it last year and it kinda went in one ear and out the other. Last Wednesday, I tried practicing in the classroom and I didn’t know how to turn on the on button and I kinda forget what ISO and shutter speed were, so I kinda had to reteach myself.”

Convention director Jeanne Acton agrees that ILPC is all about learning.

“I’m hoping that [students who attend] get even more enthused about journalism and that they learn things to hone their skills,” Acton said.  “I hope they walk away with some new ideas.”

With ILPC officially over, the Celina High School journalism team traveled home at 75 mph on I-35, trying to get a minute of rest when Hall yelled over the silence.

“How do I write a cutline again?”

Smith explained for a third time, but Hall couldn’t shake off the frustration.  She hadn’t even chosen her photos yet.

“I am focusing my photos on emotion, because ILPC gives a lot of emotion, whether it’s happiness, sadness,” Hall said.  “Isn’t that what writing is about?  Making you feel those emotions?  I’m putting a lot of hard work into it and I can get kind of frustrated but hopefully I do good because hard work pays off right?”

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