The Student News Site of Oakdale High School and its community

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School and its community

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School and its community

The Oakdale Post


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How Oakdale Turned an Unsuccessful Media Day into a Much Anticipated Sequel

Jonathan Castle
Grace Meyers (Left) and James Wilson (Right), both seniors, review a photo they’ve just taken.

 The halls of Mount Carmel United Methodist Church are quiet on a Sunday morning; that is, until you hear the echoes of bouncing basketballs and the singular speaker playing the photographers’ playlists, punctuated by groups of students laughing. These are the sounds of Oakdale High School’s inaugural Media Day, which took place on Sunday, August 20th. 

The event was organized by two Oakdale seniors: James Wilson and Grace Meyer. They took turns photographing the subjects, with Wilson handling most of the after-the-fact photo editing: the touch-ups, color adjustments, cropping, etc.. Readers may recognize his work from many school-sponsored social media platforms.  

Meyer’s mother, Michelle, describes the team’s initial reason for hosting the event:: “They both really got into photography over the winter season last year and Grace started taking lots of videos and pictures of the athletes then, so this media thing is up and coming; lot’s of schools are doing it now so they decided to do it this year.”

With this being the first Media Day at Oakdale, there were some obvious growing pains. Some miscommunication transpired between the organizers and the school, resulting in the schedule not being announced until much later than Wilson wanted: “I think the last second notice was probably an issue. Which wasn’t fully our fault. But at the same time it’s something that [we can definitely] address. And I think we could’ve promoted it a little more. Because I didn’t get the time out, times finished, and finalized and put out [until] two days ago. So I’d rather have that like a week or two in advance.”

Even with the miscommunications, the photographers remained in high spirits throughout the day. As each of the teams came in to be photographed, a back-and-forth riffing broke-out between photographers and their subjects: silly ideas, goofy, slightly dangerous group poses, and a smattering of props (various soccer balls, footballs, a large American flag, frequently used as a cape or, at one point, a skirt, and a basket of golf balls varying from fluorescent yellow to white). 

Improvisation continued as the afternoon turned into evening; fewer and fewer athletes began turning up. It was around 4:30pm when Wilson got a message informing him that many of the scheduled sports teams had yet to receive their jerseys, contradicting a report that the team had been given a few weeks prior. But even with the disappointing news, the photographers stayed at the church, beginning to plan a fall retake day, which is scheduled sometime in September. 

Similar to the first event, participation will be free for the athletes, but if they wish to keep the digital files containing their photos, they will have to pay a flat rate of $15. 

Wilson described some of the planned use for the funds: “A lot of the money will go back into buying new equipment for the future media days, because we wanna level up with each one, bringing more stuff to be able to do different things.”

What the team wants to make clear is that while this is not a school sponsored event, and while these photos will not be included in the school’s yearbook, Media Day is not some amateur event. These are talented photographers, taking photos on real cameras and using real studio lighting, which the team lugged up the church’s tiny elevator that morning at 12:30 and again that evening at 9:00pm.

Each of the photos is personalized to the students and they take multiples of each photo, to guarantee that they catch your good side. So if you are an athlete at Oakdale High School who missed out on the inaugural Media Day, you should start looking out for the schedule for the second round. 

“We didn’t get a lot of people today, but I’m really proud of the pictures we got.”

— James Wilson

Despite  the low turnout, Wilson still speaks highly of the event. He claims, “We didn’t get a lot of people today, but I’m really proud of the pictures we got.”  While the initial Media day may have been a small event, lacking many of Oakdale’s student athletes, the event has paved the way for many more successful Media Days in the coming future. This starts with the fall sports make-up day this September. 

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About the Contributors
Jonathan Castle, Editor
Jonathan is a Junior at Oakdale, in his second year of Journalism. He enjoys playing Trombone in both jazz and concert ensembles. He also loves watching and writing about classic movies, in both critical and historical contexts. He is very excited to be returning to the Oakdale Post this year!
Bailee Neyman, Editor
Bailee Neyman is a sophomore, currently enrolled in her second year of Journalism, and is excited for another fun year. She actively enjoys both reading and writing. She also plays both the clarinet and electric guitar.