This year, Photo Staff is graduating four seniors: Zoey Holmstrom, Sam Mousigian, Ahad Bootwala and Ibrahim Ijaz. For this week's Visual Statement, each senior was asked to select one of their favorite photographs they have taken for The Daily. Below, read their goodbyes:
I never thought I’d call myself a photojournalist. Thanks to the existence of the Daily’s photo staff, however, I now claim this title with pride. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph presidents, NCAA tournaments and countless other events that have shaped my craft. I’ve been able to travel the country while looking through my lens to capture impactful images, getting a taste of sports, music and news. From navigating around Ann Arbor to highways across the country, I’ve made irreplaceable friendships and experienced once in a lifetime events because of this publication. The Daily has allowed me to pursue my passions and capture the essence of the human condition. I couldn’t imagine my time at Michigan without 420 Maynard, and I will forever cherish the experiences it gave me.
Unfortunately, the time has come where I've maxed out my time at the Daily with eight semesters full of some of my best memories at the University of Michigan. Not many people can say they got to witness The Game go into double overtime from the sidelines and watch JT Barrett (who may or may not have been short) get that infamous first down. Few can say they’ve photographed presidents, their favorite band or a Michigan football bowl game. And even less can say they’ve captured the raw elation on our basketball players' faces when they capture a Big Ten Tournament title or punch a ticket to the Final Four. And yet the Daily has provided me these experiences that I’ll remember for a lifetime. Combined with the friendships made through late nights at production, the Daily was a key component to my college identity. Thanks to all my past and current MPEs for giving me the opportunities to shoot big events, and to any staff photographer who’s been on my dayside taking killer photos — you made my job easy. Proud to have been a member of photostaff for the last four years and excited to see what future generations accomplish!
Photographing for the Daily has been a great outlet for me to explore what this campus has to offer. Some of the most memorable events I have been privileged to capture through the Daily are men’s gymnastics, a panel of Michigan’s Democratic Gubernatorial candidates and the Yoni Ki Baat Spring Monologue show. The variety of events I’ve photographed has challenged me to be a more dynamic photographer. I never felt like I was restricted to capturing only sports or arts or news events. I got a little taste of everything, which has really helped me appreciate my time at the University. I was on the Daily last summer and returned for the current semester.
The Daily always seemed impenetrable to me. I felt like I'd have to have years of journalism experience to even enter the Student Publications Building. However, I was shown otherwise after taking my roommates' advice (shoutout to Fahd Ahsan and Ibrahim Rasheed, both Daily alums) and joining the Daily as a columnist in Winter of 2017. I've worked in Opinion and Photo and have come to know some truly great individuals who value truth, and more importantly the way truth is presented. Best of all, I've been able to practice my passions (writing opinion pieces and photography) in a scheduled manner which has shown me how to balance a busy life and doing what you love.