Using student photography to capture memories

SPU students contributing to yearbook with photography

Aaliyah Gholamipour, Staff Reporter

Photo illustration by Jenna Rasmussen
Senior Cascade Photographer Quinton Cline, shares his pride in his work by showing his photographs in the Cascade Yearbook.

Each year, every hall floor gathers in the dorm lobbies to get their photos taken, laughter filling the room. Here, they come together to capture memories with the flash of cameras. The photographers behind it work to get the perfect photos for a memorable yearbook.

The Cascade team consists of eight members, including Editor in Chief Audrey Easley and designers Kaylee Seiber and Danielle Gamboa, all of whom are senior visual communications majors. They work together to assemble a photographically improved final piece in their last year at Seattle Pacific University: the 2019-2020 Cascade yearbook.

“Our goal this year is to try and create a more exciting yearbook than what we’ve seen in the past,” Seiber said.

This year, the Cascade team intends to use submitted photos from all students to involve and better reflect everyone’s experiences at SPU.

For this team, the yearbook is a large passion project. If every member is not on board, it will not end up the way they want it to: filled with everyone’s creativity and contributions. 

Cascade yearbook aims to play a role in students remembering and appreciating their experiences at SPU, and the Cascade team is working hard to make it as memorable as possible.

Meeting and working with photographers in order to gather photos for the yearbook is also a part of that work.

“When I’m talking to photographers, we work really hard in making sure that when they’re at events, they’re engaging and interacting with groups of people to come together to take photos,” Easley said.

“SPUD shots,” taken at the beginning of the year with entire floors, were actually one of the ways they discovered Cascade in the first place, Seiber and Easley said.

“Before Cascade, I usually spent all my time in the Art Center. So getting out and helping with SPUD shots or being part of the organization has been good for me,” Seiber said.

Now that they are the ones running these shots, they get to see the way students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, interact with the yearbook. 

These photos give students a memorable start to the year for those living in the dorms, by creating memories together and capturing their joy and togetherness.

“I think it kind of represents what the whole yearbook is about,” Seiber said.

Joining the Cascade team allowed members of Cascade to engage with their surroundings, and especially other students. 

Getting involved with other students not only opens more doors socially, but it also strengthens each member’s sense of teamwork and ability to cooperate with others.

Easley said that this teamwork and experience has amplified her understanding of artistic design, as well as her future career. Getting involved with work like this has helped her to make great leaps socially and academically throughout her college experience, and by opening up to outside students’ photography, she invites others to do the same.

One of Cascade’s goals this year is to capture the student body as a whole and what students do on a day-to-day basis. With only eight members trying to represent the entire school, this proves to be a challenge. 

Easley has taken steps to solve that problem by involving all students through their photography.

“I tried to push this year to have people send in their own photos. That way, it feels more personal, and they feel like they contributed to the book,” Easley said.

By involving everybody, Easley said, Cascade more accurately represents the student body, while also creating what Easley aims to be a caring and inclusive environment.

“We see a lot of value in being able to represent the student body, and also capturing moments that people can keep with them forever,” she said.

That inclusivity is heavily valued in this year’s edition of Cascade, and a large part of an improved design. 

Photos and excerpts from the student body help fuel a more editorial design — a type of graphic design that is regarded to be more professional and pleasing to the eye — to the book that Gamboa said could leave people wanting to look again and again.

By capturing moments that people can keep forever, and designing it all in a way that keeps the viewer’s attention, the Cascade team believes they can bring life back to the yearbook’s value to students.

“Everybody that works in Cascade is pushed to make something beautiful that people will want to keep forever,” Easley said.

By working with other students around campus to better represent SPU’s student body, the Cascade team has opened new opportunities that they believe will improve this year’s book beyond what has been done before.

“I really want to be part of making an artifact or something,” Gamboa said. “To have something that someone else can say ‘Oh, hey, I’m in this!’” 

To submit or be involved, contact Cascade via Instagram @spucascade or contact Easley via email at [email protected]