Our most meaningful shot

Photographers of The California Aggie talk about their most memorable shot

I went to visit my best friend in Santa Cruz. We’ve known each other for about six years, and we’ve grown a lot together. On this day, we had been driving along the coast and found an isolated beach, where we saw the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Both of us were going through tough times, so it was really nice to watch the breathtaking view together. Despite it being a simple moment, it has to be one of my favorites. (MONICA CHAN)
I went to visit my best friend in Santa Cruz. We’ve known each other for about six years, and we’ve grown a lot together. On this day, we had been driving along the coast and found an isolated beach, where we saw the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Both of us were going through tough times, so it was really nice to watch the breathtaking view together. Despite it being a simple moment, it has to be one of my favorites. (MONICA CHAN)
I took this photo with 35mm film in spring of 2014. I remember how invincible I felt in this tiny chapel with huge windows. These were the first photos I took that I ever felt proud to call mine. (BECCA RIDGE)
I took this photo with 35mm film in spring of 2014. I remember how invincible I felt in this tiny chapel with huge windows. These were the first photos I took that I ever felt proud to call mine. (BECCA RIDGE)
When I was a sophomore in high school, it had become impossible for my family to take care of my great-granddad and we were forced to place him in a nursing home. We visited him once a week but these drop­-ins were clearly not enough to soften my great-granddad's anger toward us. As we neared Christmas, I decided to bring along my camera so that I could somehow share his story and deal with my guilt and idleness. As I photographed him, I could finally freeze his expressions and understand the sadness he felt. Photographing my great-granddad showed me that my camera could do more than just create an image. It helped me to better understand both of our struggles and deal with the situation we were forced into. (ANH-TRAM BUI)
When I was a sophomore in high school, it had become impossible for my family to take care of my great-granddad and we were forced to place him in a nursing home. We visited him once a week but these drop­-ins were clearly not enough to soften my great-granddad’s anger toward us. As we neared Christmas, I decided to bring along my camera so that I could somehow share his story and deal with my guilt and idleness. As I photographed him, I could finally freeze his expressions and understand the sadness he felt. Photographing my great-granddad showed me that my camera could do more than just create an image. It helped me to better understand both of our struggles and deal with the situation we were forced into. (ANH-TRAM BUI)
This was the first really good picture I ever took and it made me realize how much photography could change the way people experience the world. (HANNAH WODRICH)
This was the first really good picture I ever took and it made me realize how much photography could change the way people experience the world. (HANNAH WODRICH)
One summer, I had the privilege of being a team photographer on a medical mission trip to impoverished areas of Peru. In a small health clinic, we set up a simple studio and printer workshop where patients could come in with their families and have their photos taken. People loved this idea. It made them laugh. It made them smile. It gave them a special moment. And in that moment, people were able to forget their illnesses, their economic fatigues and their individual burdens. These people did not take for granted the simplicity of having their photos taken. And in their happiness and gratefulness, my work in photography was validated. (DANIEL TAK)
One summer, I had the privilege of being a team photographer on a medical mission trip to impoverished areas of Peru. In a small health clinic, we set up a simple studio and printer workshop where patients could come in with their families and have their photos taken. People loved this idea. It made them laugh. It made them smile. It gave them a special moment. And in that moment, people were able to forget their illnesses, their economic fatigues and their individual burdens. These people did not take for granted the simplicity of having their photos taken. And in their happiness and gratefulness, my work in photography was validated. (DANIEL TAK)
This is my favorite photo because it was from the opening day of a Buddhist temple that my dad built. It reminds me of when my parents would dress me up in traditional gowns, called Ao Dai, for special events, like this one. (BRIANA NGO)
This is my favorite photo because it was from the opening day of a Buddhist temple that my dad built. It reminds me of when my parents would dress me up in traditional gowns, called Ao Dai, for special events, like this one. (BRIANA NGO)
This photograph is memorable to me because I took it when I went to my family’s home country, Iran, in 2013. This is specifically located at a man-made lake in a small town called Dezful. Every time my family and I visit Iran, we gather around at this lake at night with all our friends and family to eat assorted nuts and watermelon and talk and dance the night away. (VENOOS MOSHAYEDI)
This photograph is memorable to me because I took it when I went to my family’s home country, Iran, in 2013. This is specifically located at a man-made lake in a small town called Dezful. Every time my family and I visit Iran, we gather around at this lake at night with all our friends and family to eat assorted nuts and watermelon and talk and dance the night away. (VENOOS MOSHAYEDI)
This photo was taken in Cambridge when I was in high school. During the punting tour, I was taking photos of people on the bridge and suddenly found this little boy smiling at me. I caught that moment and realized how photography can fix time at a beautiful moment in our life. (ZHEN LU)
This photo was taken in Cambridge when I was in high school. During the punting tour, I was taking photos of people on the bridge and suddenly found this little boy smiling at me. I caught that moment and realized how photography can fix time at a beautiful moment in our life. (ZHEN LU)
Prior to joining The California Aggie, I rarely approached strangers, let alone ask if I could take their photos. Taking on these newspaper assignments forced me to talk to people who I would otherwise never get to know. Not only did these folks agree to be photographed, but I also found out that one of them used to be a photographer during the Vietnam War, documenting the protests that came along with it. People's stories are humbling reminders — there is so much to learn from and about others. (DIANA LI)
Prior to joining The California Aggie, I rarely approached strangers, let alone ask if I could take their photos. Taking on these newspaper assignments forced me to talk to people who I would otherwise never get to know. Not only did these folks agree to be photographed, but I also found out that one of them used to be a photographer during the Vietnam War, documenting the protests that came along with it. People’s stories are humbling reminders — there is so much to learn from and about others. (DIANA LI)
This is one of the first film photos I ever took. It was during my sophomore year of high school, back when I thought I had a lot of work to do. (BRIAN LANDRY)
This is one of the first film photos I ever took. It was during my sophomore year of high school, back when I thought I had a lot of work to do. (BRIAN LANDRY)
Last summer, my mom and I hiked through southern Utah’s national parks. This is a photo from the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. It was a strenuous hike with a huge elevation gain and the final mile was just on a narrow path with huge drop-offs on each side. I’m really proud of my mom for overcoming her fears and making it all the way to the top. (LUCY KNOWLES)
Last summer, my mom and I hiked through southern Utah’s national parks. This is a photo from the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. It was a strenuous hike with a huge elevation gain and the final mile was just on a narrow path with huge drop-offs on each side. I’m really proud of my mom for overcoming her fears and making it all the way to the top. (LUCY KNOWLES)
This is one of the first pictures I took with my camera. I had just begun to learn how to shoot in manual mode, and knew nothing about photo editing! After we helped out with a show held by Koinonia Christian Fellowship, I snapped a picture of my housemates and good friends, Jean and Sarah. This is a photo I’ll be looking back to many years from now to see how much I’ve improved as a photographer. (AMY HOANG)
This is one of the first pictures I took with my camera. I had just begun to learn how to shoot in manual mode, and knew nothing about photo editing! After we helped out with a show held by Koinonia Christian Fellowship, I snapped a picture of my housemates and good friends, Jean and Sarah. This is a photo I’ll be looking back to many years from now to see how much I’ve improved as a photographer. (AMY HOANG)
This is a shot of the Greek village my grandfather grew up in. It was bombed and destroyed to end the Greek Civil War that broke out after World War II. Amongst the chaos, my grandfather hid in a tree trunk, and would later find out that his family was taken across borders to Soviet block countries. They were separated for 31 years, until borders reopened. The village has since been rebuilt. It’s hard to believe the hardships that took place here, as it looks so peaceful now. It means so much to my grandfather when we go with him to visit and he speaks of it with great pride. (NADIA DORIS)
This is a shot of the Greek village my grandfather grew up in. It was bombed and destroyed to end the Greek Civil War that broke out after World War II. Amongst the chaos, my grandfather hid in a tree trunk, and would later find out that his family was taken across borders to Soviet block countries. They were separated for 31 years, until borders reopened. The village has since been rebuilt. It’s hard to believe the hardships that took place here, as it looks so peaceful now. It means so much to my grandfather when we go with him to visit and he speaks of it with great pride. (NADIA DORIS)
This is a shot of Charlene, my niece, for a short film we did together entitled “Queen of Earth.” Even though she is ten years younger than me, I learn something new every time I see her! (CHELBERT DAI)
This is a shot of Charlene, my niece, for a short film we did together entitled “Queen of Earth.” Even though she is ten years younger than me, I learn something new every time I see her! (CHELBERT DAI)

Compiled by: The California Aggie Photo Desk – photo@theaggie.org