Friday, October 29, 2004

Backstage Pass

News Photography Is A Backstage Pass To Life...

The camera on my shoulder act as a passport to every side of life imaginable, from the triple homicide deep in the hood to the posh enclaves of the super rich. Only fifteen years in and I've witnessed, recorded and broadcast more tragedy and triumph than most people experience in a lifetime.

True, you'll make more money selling shoes, or cars, or insurance but those pasty schlubs don't hold a candle to my breed at cocktail parties. After all, we know what a meth lab smells like, what a hurricane feels like, and how to act when the President blows through town. I know what it's like inside the referee's locker room at the coliseum, at the homeless shelter on Thanksgiving morning, and at the scene of the plane crash.

These experiences don't exactly line my pockets with silver, but they've already enriched me with a real-world education available nowhere else. Along the way I've hoisted a mug with many a fellow camera pirate, chain-smoked over the crime-tape with burly vice cops, and willingly hob-knobbed with martini-swilling celebrities.

Is every day a mind-bending exercise in insider shenanigans? Hell No. Some days suck profusely. But I'll take my chances out in the field, where I can jump in my news car and get up close and personal to whatever obsession is currently ruling the airwaves.

You might find more rewarding work elsewhere, but it's not for me. You can have your endless cubicle farms, where everyone's idea of adventure is raiding the snack machine every morning, where self-expression is confined to what Dilbert cartoons you attach to your computer, where the height of rebellion is wearing a golf shirt on Fridays instead of the normal tie.

I'll be down at the courthouse, the airport, the convention center, the drive-by, the clubhouse, the ghetto, the beauty contest, the hostage stand-off, deciding what little of it you'll experience on tonight's evening newscast.

And oh yeah, if a flying saucer lands on town square and three-headed aliens pour out, if Bigfoot himself stumbles out of the woods and demands an interview, if Osama Bin Laden pops out of a spider hole at the local Kwickie Mart, I'm assured a front-row seat. Try getting past the barricade with YOUR company's I.D. badge.


Anonymous said...


I always enjoy your words of wisdom on Having found this from one of your moonlighting posts over on medialine I urge you to have Kevin post this over on b-roll.

Your comments about the cocktail party are so dead on. Isn't it a shame that we are the ones who get enjoy all that we witness through viewfinders?

When talking to kids and adults I always get a kick out of telling them about the "floor seats" at the NBA games I shoot. I tell them about having to bring my own camping chair because they don't have seats there on the floor where I sit.

Again thanks for sharing your words...


"Racing is life! Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." --Steve McQueen

Anonymous said...

You have captured in a nutshell, why I still do this insane job after 25 years. Nicely put 'slinger, you do have a talent with these things called "words".

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