Student Voice


August 10, 2022


Partly Cloudy


In life, taking a risk can make all the difference

October 26, 2016

Earlier this week, for one of my classes we were given the task of partnering up with someone else and going out into River Falls for one hour and taking a selection of different types of photographs.

On first thought, it sounded really easy. I figured my partner and I could walk along the outside of North Hall and capture some really nice stereotypical “fall photos." Maybe I could stand by a tree with some vibrant red leaves, and she could crouch down and angle the camera upwards at me. Well, that’s not exactly the plan that my partner had.

We ended up driving five minutes over to Glen Park, which upon immediate arrival didn’t seem all that bad. That is, until she stepped out of her “student” shoes and laced up her “professional photographer” ones.

It started out as a harmless photo session on the bridge, where we figured we could capture some great “perspective” shots by snapping pictures looking down at the River. And we did; for a split second I felt like my photography skills exceeded the usual selfies and Instagram edits that I do.

Just as I thought we had gotten what we needed, my dear partner got the splendid idea of making the trek down to the river and taking our one hour fairly simple assignment to the next level. Before I knew it, I found myself sliding, mostly, down a man-made path on the side of a hill. It was in that moment that I almost slipped on a muddy rock and plummeted to the river’s edge that I regretted wearing my Vans. In fact, I was so frazzled that I regretted even buying them altogether!

When I finally managed to make it down to where my partner was standing, I caught my breath and I looked at her. She was trying to decide whether or not the sun would cast our shadows nicely over the rippling water.

Seconds later, she suggested that we stand on a log that was lying halfway on a shallow rock bed. Just as I was about to resist, I noticed how much fun she was having trying to find creative ways to take pictures. Although we weren’t standing on the edge of a cliff or stepping into shark-infested waters, the fact that she was willing to get her shoes a little dirty to accomplish something that she is passionate about was admirable.

Driving back into St. Paul after class, I started to think. I’m not sure if it was a mixture of the beautiful day that it was and the sound of a classical piece by Paul Cardall, but I began to think about our little adventure philosophically. I connected our adventure that we had experienced to “life.”

Unintentionally, my partner taught me that sometimes you have to step off the beaten path, even if it seems like the safest route, in order to get the shot that you want.