Yearbook editor-in-chief jumpstarts photojournalism career

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This is one in a series of four articles about students who plan to continue their elective studies after high school.

Upasana Mannur, staff writer

Watchtower editor-in-chief, Charly Azoulay, plans on applying to colleges with strong photography and creative writing programs, like Sarah Lawrence and Rhode Island School of Design, after spending four years in yearbook and interning with local luxury photographer Anolan Dragitsch over the summer.

Azoulay joined yearbook his freshman year, the following his sister’s footsteps. Although he took the class with no particular interest in photography nor writing for his first two years at Beverly, by junior year his elective became his primary passion at school.

“I’ve been into medicine and science. By junior year, I realized that writing and photography was something I liked and that’s what yearbook was. Now, I take it more seriously and see it as a possible career,” Azoulay said.

Last year, Herbst noted tremendous growth in Azoulay’s photography, writing and design. She was impressed further when Azoulay was awarded Honorable Mention in the write-offs at the  National High School Journalism Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. Herbst also saw that Azoulay began showing interest in leadership and demonstrated natural leadership qualities needed to run a yearbook.

“At a yearbook workshop over the summer, he came up with something very sophisticated as far as design goes; he really understands branding and packaging. And his photography is beautiful,” yearbook advisor Gaby Herbst said.

Presently, Azoulay focuses more of his time to craft his work rather than simply supply content. As editor-in-chief, he reflects upon prior projects and considers and analyzes all options prior to publishing.

Azoulay also finds networking very crucial. Azoulay claims that a “fake it till you make it” attitude  while networking can heighten success. He approaches new projects and jobs with clients with a positive attitude and  respect, even if the clients are superficial and unbearable.

“I may not necessarily like someone I’m taking a photo of. If they give you their card for an event, take that opportunity,” Azoulay said.

In terms of photography, Azoulay photographs buildings and people in their natural habitat, like settings. His inspirations include French photographers like Robert Doisneau and Weegee.

Yearbook has two components: writing and photography. In regards to writing, Azoulay prefers travel journalism and creative writing. He works on a novel in his spare time and considers becoming a novelist.

“I like capturing the raw and real stuff, raw emotion,” Azoulay said.

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