Senior Spotlight: Jalen Pearson


For Enloe senior Jalen Pearson, a good night’s rest, a schedule free from plans, and the sound of Beyonce’s vocals make the essential beginnings of any perfect day. Hopping out of bed with her 3-month old cockalier Milo trailing at her heels, this proud Cancer’s ideal morning ritual initiates with a trip to her bedroom closet. While rummaging through her clothes for a pair of flared jeans and color-coordinating sneakers, Jalen’s mind regularly swirls with visions of possibilities for the day: will she visit her favorite brunch spot Books & Beans, or plan an outing with her friends? Regardless of her choice, she knows that preparation is the key to it all running smoothly.

Jalen is vigilant about stocking up with must-have items for her day. Stepping out the door without a tote bag stuffed with lip gloss, headphones, and Bath & Body Works’ “Wrapped in Vanilla” lotion, Jalen just wouldn’t feel like herself. But before hopping into the driver’s seat of her 2000 Honda Civic “Darla” (which she loves “3 million” on a scale of 1-10), Jalen knows there is one essential item she can’t be without: her camera.

From her experience shooting athletic events to more casual photoshoots with friends, Jalen has developed a reputation for being one of Enloe’s most talented student photographers. Her Instagram is littered with powerful action shots of players and the smiles of spectators in Enloe’s student section. Occasionally, Jalen likes to mix it up with candids of her closest friends, and hopes to explore a more editorial style in the future. When she’s not out in the field, she’s probably nestled at home editing photos to perfection on Lightroom. But, how did this immensely talented photographer get here?



Growing up exposed to her dad’s photography and the lively music of artists like Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, and China Anne McClain, Jalen’s creativity bloomed early on. With her enrollment in chorus and film classes throughout both middle and high school, she’s been able to exercise her artistic passions more deeply. Even while preparing her morning bowl of cereal, Jalen has gotten lost narrating in her head like the YouTubers in her favorite vlog channels! But despite this range in her outlets of expression, she feels most drawn to music and photography. “My whole life right now is really just me singing and taking pictures,” she said with a laugh. 



December of 2021 marked the beginning of Jalen’s serious pursuit of photography, and her days became filled working to capture players on Enloe’s athletic fields. Although she’s widely known for her skills, Jalen’s confidence in this craft did not come without challenge. 

At times, Jalen found herself feeling self-conscious about her interactions with players on the field, wondering if they “judged her” for taking photos or even disliked them altogether. It was often only the reassurance of her fellow photographer and friend Meadow Pacheco that could quell her intimidation. 

“She reassured me that you could take the photos on your phone and edit them with high saturation, and they’d still like it,” Jalen jokes. “I feel like I got more comfortable with photography because of her.”

By August of 2023, she’d gotten a lot more deep into photography and comfortable with her abilities. Jalen now reflects fondly on her media day shoot for the men’s football team, recalling it as being one of her favorites shoots. Having taken pictures that day with her group of fellow photographer friends, she felt more at ease than ever with a camera in her hands: “It was just a bunch of photographers having fun and taking pictures of other people.”

Despite her initial doubts, her friends have come to equally recognize Jalen’s progress

as an artist. “She knew that’s what she wanted to do, and she wasn’t gonna let anybody stop her,” says her friend Joi Albritton. “Jalen puts so much of herself into everything that she does.” 



The current Loe Down studio manager, Jalen most enjoys operating the camera, editing segments, and the overall sense of community. With plans to attend UNC Greensboro for Media Studies, she looks forward to gaining more independence and pursuing her love of photography. 

“Something that inspires me most about Jalen is her commitment to photography. She NEVER puts her camera down. No matter what happens she will push through it and take her photos,” Pacheco says. “I think that in the future she will just keep getting better and better.”