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Capturing cherub life: One photo at a time

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Ashley squats down to get the perfect angle for her photo. Photo by Karina Aronson

My biggest fear is forgetting. I hate to think that, someday, I won’t be able to recall the faces of my fellow cherubs, what my dorm room looked like or the calming sight of sailboats at sunset. That’s why, as a cherub, I carried a camera almost everywhere I went.

Weighing two-and-a-half pounds and costing nearly $1,000, the Canon EOS 80D was not a burden to take lightly. My shoulders ached from carrying it around all day along with my heavy backpack. On cloudy days, I scanned the sky, ready to sprint for cover at the sight of a single raindrop. But, it was worth it.

Every day, I snapped away. Photos of hardworking cherubs typing away in the classroom, sweaty-faced cherubs hiding under the shade of their umbrellas, sleepy cherubs dozing in dorm common areas — my camera captured them all.

At night, I edited. I deleted blurry photos, cropped the poorly framed ones, and lightened those taken in the dimly-lit lecture halls. Lying on my bed, I’d stay up late, reliving memories from the day through the pixels on my computer screen.

The final step of this process, sharing the photos, helped me break the ice with many cherubs. All I had to say was, “Hey, what’s your phone number? I have a cool photo of you,” and our conversations would flow.

Thanks to my camera, I brought home a hard drive full of memories. But, more importantly, I created an album full of lifelong friends.

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