Oh, Snap!

Gavin Anchondo, Staff Writer

With so many amazing things going on at Heritage, how can people remember it all? Well, thanks to Mrs. Petteys, people can. Mrs. Petteys is one of the three Spanish teachers at our school, and is also in charge of the SGA. When she isn’t in the classroom, she takes pictures from the band, to the musical, to all the different sporting events. Her pictures look sharp and catch students in their best moments. Many people don’t realize she was even there at all. With the quality of those photos, I wondered how she got the place she is at today. 

“When my kids were born, I got a nicer camera and started learning how to take pictures. I wanted to be able to hold onto those memories. Now when the school first opened, I knew I could take pictures and offered taking pictures for Dr. Ingle. It wasn’t till after taking pictures of Clint that Dr. Ingle saw and said I’ll use your pictures and in return I will give you a free yearbook, “ she recalls. “The best part of it all is that I know I can do something that many people can’t do and I have the access that others don’t. I also have the ability to give someone a picture they can’t get. It’s very gratifying to be able to give someone a snapshot of that memory.

“As great as it all sounds, I can imagine there are some challenging parts to it as well,” I question.

“Definitely. The biggest part is time. A lot of time goes into editing. At a football game I usually take over 1000 pictures. That means I have to go through them and find the good ones and then spend time editing the good ones. Sometimes my entire Saturday can be dedicated to editing pictures. Another thing is that sometimes people get upset that I didn’t take certain pictures. Most of the time when I take pictures, I don’t know who I’m getting. I’m just looking for those perfect candid shots. I’ve learned that I can’t please everybody but that’s ok with me.

“With all the pictures you’ve taken, do you have any favorites?” 

“A picture of Clint when he caught a pass. I was able to read the play and got in the right spot for the moment. This was a miracle because most of the time I can’t read what is fixing to happen. In a bigger perspective though, candid pictures are always my favorite. The ones where people never knew you took their pictures and you caught them just having fun. Candid pictures are always special.”

“Do you have any advice to student photographers?” I ask to wrap up the interview. 

“Take a lot of pictures. I’m not a professional. I take a lot to get a few good shots. I take tons of bad pictures. You should also take the photography class. She knows how to get amazing pictures with different technical styles. Take advantage of the classes and take lots of pictures.”

So if you go to any pep rally, talent show, or football game, be on the lookout for Mrs. Petteys. She is always looking for those great candid picture moments and you never know when it may just be you and your friends.