Lab coordinator doubles as photographer for magazine

Chemistry lab coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Cottrell is also the staff photographer for his wife’s local magazine, “EDGE of the Lake,” which is based out of the Northshore. Courtesy of Gerald Cottrell

University chemistry lab coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Cottrell pursues a career in photography at a local magazine.

“I am the staff photographer,” said Cottrell, who graduated from the university on December 1997 with a degree in chemistry. “I take the cover photos, and then I do one or two features in each episode.”

Cottrell works with his wife who owns the magazine “EDGE of the Lake.”




“About a year ago, she decided she wanted to start a magazine on the Northshore for St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes,” said Cottrell. “We’re utilizing her magazine publishing experience and then my photography skills.”

“EDGE of the Lake” is a new magazine in the Northshore area that features photos that reflect the community’s interests.

“We are on our first year right now,” said Cottrell. “We’re about to finish it up. It comes out every other month, and it basically tells edgy stories or just stories on the Northshore. Things we’ll find that might be of interest to people such as polo.”

Cottrell first became interested in photography at a young age due to the influence of family members.

“When I was a young kid, my sister gave me a little cheap disk camera,” said Cottrell. “You could take 15 pictures, then change it out. My dad was a photographer. He lived in Haiti for a while. He has some amazing photos from Haiti. Between him and my sister encouraging me to go out and take pictures, I had taken pictures all of my life.”

Cottrell also took a couple photography courses through the university.

“When I was at school at Southeastern, back in the ’90s, I took basic photography,” said Cottrell. “Then I went out and bought my own darkroom. They had a lab here, but I wanted to get it myself because photography is chemistry to a certain degree. So, I set up my own darkroom and did my own developing. Now that we have digital, I really love it. I started here five years ago, and one of my student workers was taking biophotography with Dr. Pendarvis. He talked me into joining that class, so I took another class to keep interested and improve my skills.”

Cottrell enjoys using photography to express his creativity.

“I’ve done some professional shoots for friends of mine,” said Cottrell. “I just like to get behind the camera. I don’t take normal snapshots. I like to take, basically, edgy shots. Get down from a different view, use different angles. I just like to have fun, and I just enjoy photography.”

Cottrell prefers to take pictures from different angles in order to capture intended shots.

“I’m a little nervous when I go to do a photoshoot and it’s some nice place,” said Cottrell. “I have to tell them, ‘Don’t mind what I’m doing. I know what I’m doing.’ I’m on the ground, and I’m doing all these weird shots and weird angles. It’s kind of awkward to look at, but it’s fun.”