Hannah Olson: Assistant visuals editor

Hannah Olson, assistant visuals editor 2017-18

Hannah Olson

Nearly my whole life I have known that I wanted to pursue journalism.

In kindergarten, I’d tell people I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

In first grade, my best friend and I made our own crayon-colored monthly magazine. We had a circulation of a whopping five people.

When I was eight, I got my first digital camera and began documenting day-to-day life at my daycare.

Twelve years later – little has changed.

My first week at Iowa State I walked into the office of Pulitzer prize winner Dennis Chamberlin and announced to him that I would be joining him on his photojournalism study abroad semester in Urbino, Italy.

It was during that trip that I truly fell in love with photojournalism and visual storytelling. 

I returned from my semester abroad and began working at the Daily as a photographer the fall of my sophomore year.

This past summer, I worked at the Daily as the photo editor and was able to experience a taste of community journalism; covering Ames community wide events, small businesses and parades.

In theory, a lazy journalist could get away with staying in the newsroom most of the time – conducting phone interviews, doing online research or bringing in sources.

A photojournalist can’t do that. You have to be there.

I’m pretty introverted, but when I have my camera I have a ticket to be in the middle of things.

Working for the Daily has provided me with so many opportunities and a reason to be in so many places I would have never been otherwise.

I love what I do. While I do the same thing all of the time– you don’t want to know how many gigabytes of memory cards I fill a week – I’m always doing something different. I get to see and learn about so many new things and be introduced to strangers’ passions on a daily basis. 

Thanks to my position at the Daily, I have…

  • Slept in a box in 40 degree weather

  • Nearly been crushed by heavy metal fans while photographing a music festival
  • Been sunburned in a field full of politicians on motorcycles

  • Photographed influential people including Gloria Steinem, Lily Ledbetter, Mike Pence and the governor 

  • Been sweat on by Joe Jonas (personal highlight)
  • Chased many ambulances

  • Decorated up inside the Campanile for Christmas
  • Given up many potential sleep hours

…and made friends who feel like family. Even though I often complain about the late nights and irregular hours, my position at the Iowa State Daily is something value highly.