Photography student a tough self-critic - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Photography student a tough self-critic

Kaitlyn Delaney

LCC photo student Kaitlyn Delaney plans to transfer to Michigan State University this fall to major in photography.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

If there was a recipe for a great photographer, it would read: one focused individual, two steady hands and two eyes willing to see the world through a different lens.

LCC student Kaitlyn Delaney, 23, follows the recipe but continues to add her own not-so-secret ingredient of perfectionism.

“I am a very hard critic on myself,” Delaney said. “I am always picking out the flaws and things I could have done better.”

She explained there were a few twists and turns before she wound up in LCC’s photography wing.

“The plan was veterinary medicine,” she said. “I was going to get my associate’s degree in applied science and transfer studies here (at LCC), then transfer to MSU.

“Then I started working in the world of animals, first at a grooming salon and then at a doggy day care. As much as I loved doing it, mentally and physically and emotionally … the toll that it takes … I understood why the suicide rate among veterinary workers was so high.”

Delaney said she is still passionate about animals, but switched her major to photography in 2021. She will be receiving a certificate of completion this spring and an associate degree of the arts this fall. 

She said she started taking photos for fun her freshman year of high school. As crazy as it seems, what started as her hobby became the foundation for her promising career in freelance photojournalism.

Delaney has already been published over a hundred times while working as associate editor and photo editor at The Lookout, but said she can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Her family life is vibrant and keeps her balanced. She has a fun-loving mother, a very practical father and quick-witted younger brother.

“My mom teaches second grade,” she said. “She is not afraid to speak her mind, she is really strong-willed and can be really, really funny sometimes. My dad works at an architectural firm. He is a numbers and critical thinking person. He’s the one I call after a car accident.

“My brother is two years younger than me. He’s way smarter than he realizes.”

It’s her loved ones that she treasures most, but her second-love would be travel and her wanderlust knows no bounds.

She said the best day of her life hasn’t happened yet, but remembered a runner-up. Ironically, it was the day she and her best friend made their way to Chicago by train in the middle of a snowstorm. 

“We weren’t sure if the trains would even be running that day,” she said, chuckling. “It just felt like the first step to actually being able to travel and go see things.”

Her best friend is named Emma Edington. Delaney said they have been friends since middle school.

Edington said Delaney has been a constant source of support and is one of the best people in the whole world.

“She’s always my go-to whenever I have something I need to talk about, and has been an absolute rock for me,” Edington said. “She’s quirky, always willing to help out and pretty strong willed. She’s super smart and she can think of a solution for just about anything if you give her enough information on it.

“I’d say she’s definitely my closest friend.”

Delaney collects cameras, reads tarot cards, and crochets for fun. She has an antique typewriter for inspiration and a tattoo of the moon in all of its phases because it’s the one thing that always makes her smile.

If forced to give one piece of life advice to another, she said it would be to approach every situation with empathy.

“It puts you on the path to understanding someone,” she said. “Everybody deserves respect.”

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