Photo essay: A tribute to photography

From the very moment I picked up a camera, I knew I had stumbled upon something remarkable. I always toiled around in various creative pursuits but never was able to bring about the image I saw in my head. That changed on my ninth birthday, when my dad gave me my first camera. I had played around with the family camera for a while, even once dropping one in a river in Tennessee as I tried to capture the rushing water. So for my dad, the next logical step was to give me my own personal lens through which to view the world. As the years progressed, my interest only grew. But toward the end of high school, I fell out of practice as the business of preparing for college took over. Moving across the country to Berkeley really revived my passion for photography, as I stumbled upon the beautiful and the intriguing everywhere I went. Although I’ve come a long way as a photographer in the past decade, I still experience the same awe and wonder whenever I have my camera in my hands as I did the very first time.  

So, why do I take photos?

To transform the mundane, everyday aspects of life into something extraordinary.

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To capture the fleeting moments in life that slip through the cracks of imperfect memory.


To commemorate feelings of joy for the times when life knocks you down.


To remember those who won’t always be around.


To encapsulate the moments that make life worth living.


To remind myself of how lucky I am to call Berkeley and the surrounding Bay Area my home.



Jessica Gleason is the visual editor for the Weekender. Contact her at [email protected]