Courtesy of Madeline Hinkley.

Position(s): 2021 Managing Photo Editor, 2020 Senior Statement Photo Editor 

Section(s): Photo

Semesters at The Daily: 7

Allison and I have opposite coming-to-The-Daily stories. I don’t know why, but I knew I wanted to apply to Daily Photostaff before even getting to the University. I was that applicant emailing the MPEs before the semester even started to see if they had gotten my application from the previous application cycle. Despite my scientific tendencies, I do believe in a level of fate, and I think that played into my pull towards The Daily. 

Once I made it through training and started assignments, I was so scared of going to news events and being confident in my place there. I couldn’t see myself in leadership because those who were in the positions were so talented, so confident. But then right after the pandemic started, I found myself becoming summer MPE with a total stranger. 

Summer of 2020 was such an adventure, filled with making some of the best friendships I had made up to that point in college. I had never met Julia before, let alone any other ME that summer, but something about that time made me feel at home and so happy. To Cheryn, Olivia, Julia, Nick and Kent — thank you for making me first fall in love with The Daily.

At the end of that summer, I wasn’t ready to be done so I tested the waters of becoming the real MPE. Apparently, no one else wanted to work with me because they hate me (to quote Allison) so Allison decided to suck it up and stay MPE one more year. Thank goodness she did. 

That is the journey. So now onto the thank-yous. 

To Barbara and Liat: You two are so resilient and talented. I’m so glad we got to “phews” after every breaking news and thank goodness for the end of constant “U stock” on the online story list.

To Anamika and Gabrijela: I’m so glad I got to know you two more this semester, you both have such amazing futures ahead of you. Although small, I loved our chats before production each night.

To anyone on sports who I went on a road trip with: Thanks for the absurd memories and way too many rounds of the “song game.” I think I’m over staying at Super 8 Motels for the rest of my life, but I certainly have some of the funniest memories from these trips. 

To all the 2021 MEs: We did it. That was a long year. But we did it.

To photostaff as a whole: Thank you for being supportive, encouraging, technical, brilliant, kind and more. It hasn’t always been this way and it just makes me appreciate it so much. Thank you for letting me be your MPE. Thank you to everyone who took stock photos over the past two years, to everyone who dealt with an fEE error and to everyone who answers our Easter eggs every week. Whenever I was stressed out of my mind, all I had to do was look at the GroupMe to remember why I was doing this. 

To Jarett: Thank you for sticking with me through print Mondays this semester. You’re resilient and care so much about making sure everything is right for the print paper. I’m so glad we got to try new ciders each week and thanks for dealing with me making fun of you for various things. 

To Jack: Thank you for reading our photo essays, dealing with Allison and my passion for making photo the best it can be and for helping The Daily move into the next digital generation.

To Lane: I thought you were the coolest person ever when I met you during your poster pictures last year. And I stand by that. I’m sorry I made you cry about print. Thank you for making fools out of ourselves together in the newsroom. Thank you for asking for photos nicely unlike your co-ME. Thank you for all of the laughter and for being you.

To Emma, Miles and Becca: Thank you for being so reliable, energetic and excited throughout the past year. Each of your creativity knows no bounds, and your love for photostaff exudes in such a wonderful way.

To Grace and Tess: You two are going to do such amazing things. You both amaze me with your energy and compassion, not to mention photography talent. There’s no one I’d rather have to lead the photo section for the next year.

To Julia: Thank you for being my surprise best friend in the depths of a pandemic. You crack me up, you are so talented and truly a wonderful human. You’re always there to listen. Your strength is incredible. 

To Kent: Thanks for making me write a silly caption on a photo and falling over during a Zoom call. Thanks for helping me climb over the fence at the Big Ten tournament after I got stuck. Thanks for listening to me talk about Photo and The Daily way past working hours. 

To my mom and my dad: Thank you for learning the structure of the newspaper so that I could talk about it constantly. Thank you for hyping up my photos and sending them to friends. Thank you for buying me that pink Fujifilm camera when I was 7 and for supporting me through this adventure. 

And finally, to Allison: At the beginning of our tenure, I was (and still am) in awe of your brilliance, selflessness, talent and knowledge, and despite being MPE for a year already, you made me feel like an equal right off the bat. I remember sitting at your table going through APE applications and thinking how weird it was to be having fun with it. It’s funny to look back and remember how professional we used to be, and now I couldn’t imagine not having you as my friend. I have so many invaluable memories with you, from “icing” me on my 21st birthday and going to CameraMall for hours trying to get money for our broken equipment, to bringing me to Rick’s for the first time and us feeding off each other’s excitement about Michigan sports constantly. Thank you for our Crumbl nights, for sending texts I was too scared to send and for always being there for me — Daily-related or otherwise. Trying to write this makes me cry. I just can’t imagine not texting you every five seconds. Thank you for being my co-ME, my co-person, my best friend. Gracias <3

The Daily makes me so happy and so full of appreciation that the lows and the stress are all so worth it. Thank you for the photos, from CSG to The Game. Thank you for the print pages that will be held close to my heart the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone who played a part during my time at (or virtually at) 420 Maynard.