Chabeli Herrera


Chabeli Herrera at a local bookstore in Miami

Me at a local bookstore, Book Barn, in Miami, Fla.


It at all started with Harry Potter. I grew up with it. When I think back to when I started becoming passionate about reading, all roads lead to Harry. I even have memories that I associate with which book I was reading in the series at the time. For example, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” was my trip to St. Augustine, Fla., when I was 8 years old.

Over the years, my love grew, and Harry became my go-to, my re-read, bent corners, torn spine, old faithful. Now my library has grown to include other favorites. For example, my favorite book of 2012 was “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green. But Harry still reins No.1. I always have a book, and I’m always trying to give different genres a shot. I don’t have a particular favorite genre because I like a little of everything. As long as I’m reading, I’m happy.


A photo from a dance photography series I took
A dance photography photo I took juxtaposing classic ballet with an urban setting.

When I knew I wanted to pursue journalism, a realization that came in early high school, I thought photography would be an appropriate elective to take to correspond with journalism. I suppose I was a little forward-thinking when it came to the future of journalism and what a journalist should be. It turned out much better than I predicted.

I channeled an old love of dance through my photography, which I took for three consecutive years. I loved the body of a dancer, and I loved capturing the movement of a dancer in my photos. Dance photography became my forte, and I dabbled in it for those three years.

Now photography is really just a hobby. I enjoy doing it, but I enjoy writing more. I put my heart into my pieces, and if I can get a great picture to go along with it, then I’m more than content. I dream of the day I can photograph dance again, but for now I’m just happy with my shots of the Gator football team in action during a game.