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The University of Texas at Tyler
UT Tyler Senior Creates Lasting Memories
Allen Arrick, a UT Tyler senior journalism major, started a local wedding photography business in 2004. Below, Arrick poses with a happy couple on their big day; and bottom, an example of his work.
The eternal saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Allen Arrick of Colleyville, a senior at The University of Texas at Tyler, loves telling stories not only through writing, but also through photography.
The journalism major, who for six semesters enjoyed bringing campus news to UT Tyler as a staff member of the Patriot Talon student newspaper, now brings new stories to life through wedding photos. He began a local wedding photography business in 2004.
The 23-year-old credits his past UT Tyler experiences at the Patriot Talon, as well as trial and error, for starting a business so successful in its infancy.
"I’m an introvert, so I don’t usually go out and talk to random people,” said Arrick, an award-winning student journalist who holds a strong interest in both writing and photography. “Working with people is something that journalism specifically has really taught me how to do – that and just being able to tell a story, whether it be through stories or through photos.”
While a member of the Patriot Talon, he received numerous Texas Intercollegiate Press Association honors, including first place in the critical review, opinion page design and breaking news story categories, and was named a 2008 TIPA Frank Buckley Scholarship recipient. During his tenure as editor in chief, the newspaper won the 2009 Associated Press Managing Editors College Newspaper of the Year award.
“I didn’t take any journalism classes or write for the newspaper in high school. I’ve always liked stories and the news. I was a news junkie,” he added with a laugh. “Journalism sort of seemed like the natural progression. I liked writing and English, but didn’t know if that was the career path for me. I just really liked journalism. It’s fun.”
Arrick heard about UT Tyler through his parents, who moved to Tyler after the Rose City left quite an impression on them while they stayed at a local bed and breakfast.
“The year before I graduated from high school, my parents decided to move to get out of the big city, since we’re from the Metroplex,” he explained. “When they moved, I had already applied and been accepted to UT Arlington. My parents wanted me to come here to be closer to them. I applied here, and it was a great deal. I like the campus, and I like the size. You don’t get left out. What I’ve done here, you really wouldn’t be able to do at a bigger school.”
Although his interest in general photography began in high school, when picked up his grandfather’s Miranda 35mm camera to shoot landscape photos “for fun,” his interest in wedding photography stemmed from a friend’s request in 2004.
“A friend asked me to help him photograph his sister’s wedding,” Arrick explained. “I said, ‘What the heck,’ and went with it. The images were beautiful, and they allowed me another creative outlet for photography. For the first time someone was paying me to take pictures, and I loved every minute of it. I like it because it’s all facets of photography. It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.”
He gives current and prospective patriots the advice to be as active as possible on campus.
“From my experience, you can’t just show up, go to class and go home,” Arrick said. “You aren’t going to get anything out of your college experience. Look at what you can do at the university, and find your niche. It’s the stuff outside of class where you really learn.”
Arrick, who will graduate in December, said he is pleased the business has grown exponentially. And with it, he hopes to create even more lasting memories, just as he did on campus.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.