Accidental jobs: Math student turned TV photographer - | WBTV Charlotte

Accidental jobs: Math student turned TV photographer

FOX Carolina photographer Summer Gagnon. (File/FOX Carolina) FOX Carolina photographer Summer Gagnon. (File/FOX Carolina)

It may seem an unlikely transformation, but FOX Carolina photographer Summer Gagnon took a path from math teacher wanna-be, to TV news photographer.

Normally it's Mr. (Joe) Gagnon bringing viewers the news, but it's Mrs. Gagnon, the lady behind the camera, who makes it all happen. She claims to have no interest in taking his job.

"I hate it. I really do. I don't like being on camera," said Summer Gagnon. "I'll do it if I have to ... I wanted to be a photographer for the reason that I am very uncomfortable in front of a camera."

Summer Gagnon rises well before sunrise and gets to work by 2:30 a.m., if she's not woken up and pulled out of bed, earlier, for breaking news. She spends pre-dawn hours pulling cables and pointing a camera at her husband, whom she met on the job, as his photographer in Grand Junction, CO.

"I like the deadlines. I like the fast pace. I like that we get to be in whatever's going on, that's where we're going, and that really fits my personality," said Summer Gagnon.

It's a job she didn't even know she wanted.

Summer Gagnon started college in California, on track to be a math teacher.

She said she loves math, "which is probably not that common for people who work in news, but I love math, so I wanted to be a math teacher. [I] thought being a teacher would be great."

Before moving back home to Colorado, she visited the Grand Junction TV station's website to find news of a childhood neighbor getting into big-time trouble.

As she was on that website, she saw a link for jobs at the station. Summer Gagnon said she doesn't know why she clicked on the link, since she didn't have any experience or know anything about news, but she called. She said she was hired on the spot.

"The rest is history!"

That was six years ago; she started as a production assistant, working behind the scenes in the studio. Summer Gagnon said her boss needed someone to shoot video one day and handed her a camera. She said she had no training in how to use a camera, but after that point, she became a photographer.

"I look back and think to myself, of me being a math teacher now, and I'm like, I don't know, I probably wouldn't have succeeded at that, 'cause this fits my personality so well," she said. "I can't imagine if it didn't happen what that would be like."

It definitely wouldn't have included The Morning News' Friday Dance Party.

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