Freezing Time

An in depth look behind the scenes of photography.


A photo captures many things. It gives insight on unknown point of views and evokes strong emotions. It allows for photographers to spotlight their perspective of the world. Photos are talked about quite often, yet the photographers themselves capturing these moments aren’t discussed enough. Let’s explore the behind the scenes of photographers and how they make a statement with their art.

Tess DeGrazia

Tess DeGrazia ’23 was drawn to photography because it was a way for her to make others happy. She started out with a digital single-lens reflex camera which allowed for her to do hands on photography. She likes to take upbeat photos with warm tones. “I choose to capture the moment with the client,” said DeGrazia. She takes personal photos and portraits, along with sports photos. She’s also a photographer for the Trojan Epic Yearbook. 

What draws DeGrazia to photography is the happiness it brings to people. “I was always drawn to taking photos. I think it was out of the interest in capturing joy,” said DeGrazia. She finds motivation in the way her photos can have a real emotional impact on those around her. “I love capturing moments. I have the drive to continue [capturing] these moments because it brings me joy and it brings others joy which is my biggest goal,” said DeGrazia. 

Photography is very motivating to DeGrazia. “[J]oy is something I’ve always loved to portray,” said Degrazia. Her biggest inspiration is her girlfriend. “She inspires me the most, always supports me, and continues to help whenever I need it,” said DeGrazia.  

Degrazia doesn’t have any particular long term goals in mind, but she still has so much love for photography. “I just love making people smile,” said DeGrazia. She wants to continue capturing people’s happiest moments and sharing them with others. 


Sachiko Goto

Sachiko Goto ’23 started photography at a young age. She became an official photographer in 5th grade, but also had taken interest in her dad’s photography earlier in life. “I would ask my dad to let me hit the shutter on his camera,” said Goto.

Her love for photography comes from the way a photo can seemingly stop time. She uses photography to make what’s happening around her last forever. The concept of capturing and freezing moments in time was always fascinating to me,” said Goto. 

The moments Goto captures are very meaningful to her. Her photography puts events in the record books forever. “There was one photo I took over the summer at Iowa City’s Speak Up, Speak Out event, where a Black mother is speaking with her two sons standing next to her, holding signs that read ‘Am I Next?’,” said Goto. Goto was very moved and heartbroken seeing that. Photography allowed her to pause that moment and share it with everyone.

Goto’s main inspirations are her dad and her grandpa. They loved photography too and were also the ones who got Goto interested. Her favorite photographers are Ansel Adams and Pete Souza. Her style of photography tries to capture the raw emotions in a moment. “I like to stay true to what I see in my eyes, so I don’t really adjust the camera or my surroundings to fit a theme,” said Goto.

DeGrazia and Goto gave their first hand experience and expressed what the meaning of photography is to them. They find deeper meaning in their photos and are really drawn to the photography. DeGrazia likes to spread joy and enjoys capturing it with her photos. Goto enjoys how her photos can freeze moments in time. She has taken very meaningful photos and likes to give people a view into what her eyes are seeing. Photography is important for slightly different reasons to both of them, but there is also a lot of overlap. “Having the opportunity to capture the raw emotions of that moment I think really shows the power of photography,” said Goto.