Photo editor bares it all

As I cover myself with my camera lens, I think of how I got myself into this mess. I think of the passion I have for photojournalism, and how being on The Hatchet has provided me with an outlet to express my love.

It all started five years ago, when I was trying to figure out where to go to college, with these words:

“What do you want to do with your life?”

“I want to be governor of California.”

“Oh really, politics? Have you ever considered going to school at George Washington University?”

“What, you mean Georgetown?”

“No, GW, where I went. It would be the perfect place for you, right in the center of politics and journalism.”

“Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I want. Watch out East Coast ladies, this California boy is coming.”

Thank you, Jerry, for opening my eyes to GW, it has been the time of my life.

Five years later, I am on my way out with a myriad of experiences under my belt. I came here with the notion that I would play college water polo, study journalism and politics and be a Capitol Hill intern. I have done it all and so much more. I have made life-long friends, rubbed shoulders with great politicians, shot photos of everything from NCAA basketball to the presidential inauguration. I have had so many powerful and meaningful experiences in the last four years, many of which stem from my time at The Hatchet.

Second semester freshman year, I went to The Hatchet and it all began. Thanks, Josh, for having faith in me. It created the foundation for my involvement with The Hatchet.

The rest is history. I then became assistant photo editor my sophomore year. Thanks, Matt, for teaching me the ropes. There I met Russ Rizzo (“Rotten Russell”), then-assistant news editor, and together we tried to create our own publication, “The Girls of GW Calendar.” Instead, we created a friendship.

We had a great time trying to make that calendar. Ladies, as I look at the photo of me, I know how you felt. Thanks to all of you for helping us try.

Russell – we’ve lived, worked and chilled together for three years. Many people say when we get wild, it is sensory overload, let’s keep it up. You are always there for me, in great moments like my twenty-first in Vegas to dire times, like when I sliced my finger open last year. You are truly a special friend. We always talk about creating our own publication. One day we will do it.

Through Russ, I met one of my other closest friends at GW, Tyler. Ty – I feel like I am a part of your family, calling your mom my second mom. From climbing trips to your sister’s debutante, we have had a lot of fun.

My junior year, I brought on a slew of photographers and one really special dude. The best of the best, my right hand man and great friend, Mike, you are one of the most faithful, responsible and kind people I have ever met. One day the luckiest girl in the world is going to find you. I have watched you grow as a photographer. Your work is superb. Are you envious of my big lens? Thanks for being my co-pilot for the last two years, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Joe Baby – you are diligent and always ready to go. You’ve got so much drive. I call you and you say “yes” before I can get a word in.

Big Mike Rogers – when you first stopped by The Hatchet, you said “I want to shoot sports.” You have a great eye for action.

Ricciardi – Mr. Consistent, you’re one smart dude. If you said you were going to shoot a photo, you did it. I never had to worry. We gotta go flying.

Mr. Perlman – the trendsetter, my artsy photo expert, you are always striving to have a different perspective. Keep up your drive to be different.

Zark and Andrew – my successors, for two years you guys have trained to take over, and now the time has come. Starting this week, the torch is yours. You both have so much passion for photography, feed off each other’s zeal and learn from each other as Mike and I have. Make it fun for yourselves and your photo staff, and it will never be work.

To everyone else at The Hatchet, it has been a pleasure working with you all.

Murph – working with you was a joy, drinking with you was even more fun. “My friend said soor-ry.”

Jay – I wish we had worked together, you’re great to party with.

Jason – “Where are the photos?” You’re a unique dude, I wish we had chilled more. At least we had our darkroom chats.

Kate – you’ve got a good head, enjoy being EIC. I will always remember chilling on your roof with TD. GW girls’ field hockey rules.

Moshcrew – keep your enthusiasm and be good to photo next year.

Trevor – you make me laugh. One day you will be EIC.

Safdie – Mr. Style, I have known you since freshman year, but recently we have become close. Lets chill bra.

Sean and Lauren -Thanks for all the big photos.

Features girls – Beth and Salma, thanks for your patience. Ayesha, we make a great team, your writing my photos. Maybe one day we will work together again.

Production – thanks for always taking care of photo. Steve – you really hold this place together. Business office – thanks for making the bucks so we can print the photos.

To my friends, I will miss you all. You have all made my time at GW.

Pirouz, how long have we been friends? You even came to visit me at home in California. You are brilliant, I can’t wait to see the things you invent.

Ken – you are the best listener.

Khai – I gotta learn how to play pool like you.

Big K and J -Cheers to you both, lets get a beer.

Brad – Hahnsy, help, my muscles are getting flabby.

Brookie – you will always be my cookie.

Kate – you made it past two weeks. You are the sweetest girl. So kind, so cute, so much fun. Oh yeah, and “so so so smart.” You make me smile.

To my uncles – your little boy is graduating from college. You guys are great parents.

Well Mom and Dad, here I am, a college graduate. Thank you both for your never-ending support and having the faith to send me so far away to school. Dad – thanks for getting me into photography, as you know it has been a guiding light in my life. Mom – what would I ever do with out you. You taught me how to read and made me what I am. You’re the best mom and teacher any one could ever have.

So here I am baring it all.

– Grant Wernick has been an editor since fall 1999.


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