By Christian Boudreaux
I joined the Potpourri staff at the beginning of this past summer, and it has been one of the most fulfilling decisions I’ve ever made. I really got interested in photography in the spring of 2017, when I took an introductory class at Louisiana State University of Alexandria.
That May, I saved up enough to buy a used Nikon DSLR, and I began to snap pictures. I happened to bring my camera up with me to Natchitoches when I transferred that summer and I kept taking photos in my spare time. It wasn’t until I took my Photography II class where I slowly began to better my skills.
I never thought I would work as a photographer until April 2018. That was when a friend of mine got a photo of Vic the Demon I took during the ULS Day at the Capitol made it onto the front page of that week’s issue of The Current Sauce. From then on, I knew I wanted to be a part of NSU’s Student Media. I applied for the Potpourri and was hired shortly thereafter. Days before the semester began, I was offered a new job: lead photographer. And I took it.
Since this semester started, I’ve gone to more events around campus that I wouldn’t have been interested in if not for the yearbook. The two most fun events that come to mind were the two concerts I shot: The First Night Concert on Move-In Day and the recent Attack of the Bands event. If I didn’t have to go cover those events, I likely would have never been interested in attending them.
Now, I’m excited to cover this year’s day-long Demonfest, an event I didn’t attend last year, because I thought it would’ve been boring or energy-draining. I’ve shot the Lady of the Bracelet pageant, N-Side View Day, and the Nicholl’s State football game, along with some more events I can’t remember. Those were all events I would not have attended if not for my position.
I bring all of this up because when I first transferred to NSU last fall as a junior, I almost felt like an outcast. I didn’t know where my place was here, especially since I was almost completely detached from the social events at LSUA. A year later, I feel like I’m wanted and accepted. Everywhere I go, I see the faces of people that show up in my pictures. And my heart warms up when someone tells me “I can’t wait to be in the yearbook” whenever I ask for a picture.
There’s one last story I want to tell. When I first transferred to NSU, my dad, an NSU alumnus from the mid80s who knew Dr. Maggio, asked if we could make a stop at the Watson Library so that we could see the old yearbooks. I don’t know how often that happens with students here, but I remembered that story while writing this and thought, “If I ever have kids that attend this school, would I do the same with them?”
It was at that moment when I realized how important the Potpourri is to both current and future students. You see, social media is an incredible tool at our disposal, not just for recreational use but for documenting our lives through visual media. And while I think that sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for keeping those moments with you forever, there’s something special about a big book filled with photos of the events from a certain time and place.
Seeing my photos being put into those pages makes me both excited and nervous for the same reason. My photos will be remembered for years, even decades to come. As I say all this, I realize that I have the easiest job at the Potpourri.
My Editor-in-Chief, the writers, designers and fellow photographers have the much tougher roles to fulfill, but I’m proud to be working alongside them, and proud to be a part of something that I think is going to last a long time.
Photo by Christian Boudreaux.