The Oakland Post

​​Copyright © Dani Cojo. All rights reserved. 

Dani Cojo

One day in March 2014, I was approached by a member of the Oakland Post, Oakland University's Student Newspaper. I had always noticed the post around, but never thought much about it. The reporter, who happened to be the Managing Editor, Kaylee Kean, asked me a simple question for the Grizzlies on the Prowl section: "Who is Brandon Hanna?" I had no idea who that was, and I'm pretty sure my answer was "not a clue." She thanked me for taking the time to answer her question, took my picture, and two days later my face was published in the March 26th issue of the post, thoughtful quote and all.

Three weeks later, another postie came up to me. Haylee Kotwicki, the Chief Copy Editor at the time, asked if I could do another Grizzlies on the Prowl. This week's question was "How do you relax during exam week?" I replied, "I like to listen to music, read books, or hang out with my friends." This time, when she tried to take my picture, she had camera troubles. I was able to fix the problem (switch from manual to auto) and that was it. I was published in the April 16th issue.

I found it kind of interesting that two different posties came up to me. It felt like a sign that I was supposed to notice them more. The next week, I noticed an ad hanging on one of the boards in the hallway: The Post needed photographers. I couldn't ignore that. 

I wrote up my first ever resume, applied for the position, and landed an interview. After meeting their Photo Editor, Salwan Georges, I thanked him for taking the time to consider me, and the next day he hired me as a photographer.

During my first year, I shot many assignments and even wrote my own article. After one year of working for them, I applied to take the position of Photo Editor after Salwan moved on to work for the Detroit Free Press and now the Washington Post. Kaylee Kean was now the Editor-in-Chief, and she hired me on the spot. For the next year, I worked alongside her and later the new Editor-in-Chief, Kristen Davis, to create the best newspaper possible before I graduated and had to leave my legacy behind.

Presented in the slideshow below are some of my favorite photographs that I've taken and had published while working at The Post.