Capturing the dream

Minette Rubin, water polo photographer from West Africa, at the swimming pool at Pierce College, Woodland Hills, Calif. May 9. 2018

Camera in hand, kneeling by the water, Minette Rubin waits for that perfect moment. With a push of a button, she captures an action-packed scene amid the splashing in the Pierce College pool. It may have been a long journey from her home country to enroll in college and reach the poolside, but the opportunity to pursue her passion has made it worthwhile.

Rubin was born and raised in South Africa, where she said she never received a formal education. However, she moved to the United States when she was 22-years-old, and eventually got married and had two girls.

Rubin said that emigrating has allowed her to enroll in college and receive an education.

“I never been to college all my life due to the way things are in South Africa, so even signing up was a big step for me,” Rubin said.

Rubin said that, in the United States, she finally has the time, courage and opportunity in life to begin focusing on something she loves to do and can identify with ‒ sports photography

“Growing up in Africa, our heros were athletes, so I would hang posters of my favorite athletes on my walls,” Rubin said. “I love to capture the moment because it has emotion attached to it for the people it’s relevant to and that’s why i signed up for photography at Pierce.”

Rubin said that she has a penchant for photographing watersports, which she attributes to a personal history with swimming.

“I used to swim too, so I think I have an eye for it. I know when the moment is right to take the picture,” Rubin said.

Ashlee Sellung, Rubin’s daughter, said that she is proud of her mother’s decision to pursue her passion.

“She would always take pictures and document everything,” Sellung said. “I was happy to see her take the next step and pursue it more seriously.”

Sellung said that being able to participate in watersports that her mother takes photographs of is gratifying for both of them.

“After a game, I check out the pictures and get to see how I’m doing in a way. And she gets to see how well her pictures came out, too,” Sellung said.

Jason Chanta, a student at Pierce College, said that he is inspired by people like Rubin who chase their dreams.

“It’s never too late,” Chanta said. “I believe anyone can be successful no matter when they start a career.”

Rubin said that she and her family are happy that she is doing something that interests her.

“Going to school has expanded my life and made it so much richer, and when I show my kids, they are proud of me doing my own thing,” Rubin said. “I’m usually a parent or somebody’s wife. It’s very seldom when it’s a Minette thing.”