Going beyond my comfort zone for my last year at Eastern –


I’m Ashanti, a senior digital media technology major with minors in photojournalism and Spanish. This is my fourth year being a contributing member of society at The News.

I started as a photographer my freshman year, then as my sophomore year began, I was the photo editor. In my junior year, I was the assistant photo editor, now I’m back in the photo editor position again this semester.

I started taking photography classes in high school but when I was about to go to Eastern, I realized I wanted to do photojournalism and love it so far.

I’ve gotten so many great opportunities, like being able to travel and winning multiple awards such as my first-place award for one of my photos recently at a state competition.

Besides photojournalism, my interest in concert and music photography has grown a lot. Over the summer I got to photograph at a music venue in my town called Canopy Club.

I took pictures of local rappers, producers, bands, and even bigger bands like Peach Pit. I love music and photography so it’s the perfect combination for me.

Also during the summer, I went to Summer Smash for the first time and Lollapalooza for my second time, both in Chicago. Some of my favorites from both festivals that I saw this year were Young Nudy, J.I.D, Men I Trust, Key Glock, TiaCorine, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Yachty Odesza, and Lana Del Rey.

I’m definitely going to shoot big music festivals like those next summer. (This is me manifesting).

I also do photo shoots, so last semester, I wanted to try and do my own photography project so I came up with the idea of creating mock fashion magazine covers. I made one of Vogue, GQ, and Essence and they turned out amazing.

This is one of the reasons why I love photography, you can do so many different things with it.

My goals for this semester are to first not stress out and just have fun with everything because it’s my senior year.

Being photo editor, I want to try new things that we may not have done before and just get out of my comfort zone in this position. This is my final year at The News and Eastern though, so it’s crazy how fast everything goes but I’ve had so much while I’ve been here.

I’m sad to leave the News and the friends I’ve made but I’m excited for the future.

Ashanti Thomas can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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