New photo magazine showcases senior life


The magazine titled “SENIOR17IS” features cheerleader Grace Hering at a football game on the cover. Castro designed the magazine using the program InDesign and finished it in May. Photo by Mira Dwyer.

By Mira Dwyer

Senior Tomás Castro produced a senior photo magazine to reflect on the class of 2017’s final year, which he distributed free of charge at graduation rehearsal May 26.

Castro started photographing the senior class last school year and began designing the magazine Oct. 2016. Castro served as the photography director for The Black & White this year and created the magazine as an outlet for many of his photos that weren’t published, he said.

He began by primarily capturing school football games because the games showcase different elements such as players, cheerleaders and fans, he said. As the year progressed, Castro attended more popular school events including poms competitions, school dances and sports practices.

“I began realizing that the Whitman senior life went beyond the usual school events,” Castro said. “I tried to get as many pictures of students doing their regular activities at school, but I was particularly interested in photographing people outside of school.”

The biggest obstacle to creating the magazine was a lack of funds. Getting the $4,000 necessary to print enough magazines for the entire class proved difficult because school groups like the SGA and post-prom committee weren’t able to help with funding. To increase donations, senior Sophia Knappertz assisted Castro in making a Kickstarter campaign. The pair advertised the campaign through social media and it was ultimately successful.

Once seniors received the magazines, many expressed gratitude to Castro for designing a magazine specific to their grade.

“It was really cool seeing pictures just from our grade because those pictures captured things that you wouldn’t normally see,” senior Olivia Mackey said. “It’s really cool that I’ll remember a football game or whatever it was because of his pictures.”

While the magazine accurately displayed student life, some students were hesitant to allow Castro to photograph them candidly, Castro said.

“This made me quite sad because they were afraid of showing everyone who they really were and they preferred having me take a picture of them looking at the camera and smiling,” Castro said. “I wanted to showcase the Whitman senior life, not show how everyone was happy all the time.”

Balancing the project and schoolwork posed a challenge to Castro, but the finished magazine made his efforts worthwhile, he said. He also said he hopes that future senior classes will continue the project and make it a new tradition.

“I think everyone was happy that they got it along with their yearbook, and I think in the future, when they find the magazine, they’ll be excited that it was done,” senior Emily Kaperst said.