Jackie Esbin “I love the idea that you can just go out with a camera and shoot. The world is your oyster; a blank canvas that you can fill with whatever’s right in front of you.”

“I have two night classes and one early morning class,” said Jackie Esbin in her first semester at SMC. “And I really enjoy those night classes where my teachers—even though people are getting tired—are able to keep us awake and concentrating on what we’re learning. And I also like those classes because I have a lot of time during the day to get all my homework done and get ready for the tests.”

Straight out of high school, Jackie states, “I’m only taking my three classes because I wanted to have an easy transition at SMC. And I have to say that I’m really surprised at the quality of the educators here. My teachers all seem to really want us to succeed. But they also expect you to work hard!” Jackie has over five years of photography experience under her belt. But all that experience is coming into even sharper focus at SMC. “I’m studying with Ms. Shamel, and she’s very, very good. She’s also a professional, and she shows us some of her own work, which is pretty remarkable. She explains how cameras work very thoroughly, and she teaches using a lot of cool visuals. And that comes in very handy, because I’m a very visual learner. I just finished working on our next project, which was where you shoot the same subject, but you change the background by using different apertures and shutter speeds. And I like the technical side of shooting very much.”

Jackie states, “I’d like to transfer to Boulder, Colorado, for my BA. And, ultimately, I’d like to shoot for National Geographic. It would be so great to combine my love of photography with my interest in animals. That’s what I’d have to call my dream job”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.