Monday, March 13, 2006

More than Caddies to the Nearly Famous

Here's a group of fellas you don't see together very often, the FOX 8 Photojournalists. Normally, it takes a Presidential visit or a storm with a nickname to cause us to gather en masse like this, even then we're not known to cluster in more than fours. It's not that we're antisocial ... WE'RE BUSY! You would be too if you raced through life with one eye pressed to a viewfinder and the other one on the clock. 32 hours of high-quality news a week doesn't get to your set by itself, ya know. It's hand-crafted daily with sweat, back-ache and artistry by the guys to the left. As always, I'm proud to be among this group of news pirates - especially since we're being recognized by the National Press Photographers Association as Medium Market Station of the Year. Ruh-SPECT!

Eddie Hughes, PlayaOkay, so normally I don't go for contests. The whole selection process seems so arbitrary as to be suspect and I really don't care for a prize I gotta nominate myself for. But my colleague Chris Weaver is of a different mind-set. Recently he took it upon himself to assemble a compilation tape of the photog's finest offerings from the past year. Am I ever glad he did - and not just because I got to wear a station parka in eighty five degree weather for the resulting publicity shot! No, I'm happy because, for once, the people who very often care the most are getting a little credit. Credit - that's something we who turn the spotlight on others quickly learn to live without.

Satellite DanWe're not complaining, though - for the low profile is the price we pay for all that freedom we spend so recklessly. Be it a sat truck circus or a crime-tape summit, we get around, deciding in the process how much of it you'll see while sitting on your couch. As a result, every member of our wildly different group knows the ins and outs of the oddest of scenarios; whirlwind election stops, zombified ground-breakings and the occasional meth-lab takedown. These experiences won't buy us summer homes, lavish trips or even fancy cars. But neither will we lie on our deathbeds and reminisce about working on the Simpkins Account. No, we'll recall that time we noshed on frozen ham sandwiches as a Class 2 hurricane lashed our sat truck home. We'll remember chasing hysterical kids through a public housing project as they hurled ghetto-snowballs at our lens. We'll reflect on solemn moments as first responders held white sheets between us and the freshly dead. On second thought, maybe that Simpkins Account doesn't sound so bad after all.

Wesley BarrettThen again, all that deathbed talk is a tad premature. We still got alot of adventures to shoot - some of us more than others. I for one, am dedicated to at least five more years of this silly job, a veritable eternity when you measure time in hourly deadlines. Personally, I know of no other way, and of no other group I'd want to hang out with than the rugged individuals who take in life through a tube. We may not have the fattest compensation packages, but we got stories - the kind of street level tall tales that would be unbelievable if we didn't have the videotape to back it up. So say congrats to the people I work with, the guys I lunch with, the flesh and blood photogs I so very often write about on this humble site. Just don't tell 'em where you live, for they'll surround your domicile in high-powered logo-mobiles if they think for a moment you got a story to tell. Then they may very well eat you out of house and home.


Scott Myrick said...

Congratulations everyone! You all truly are the best photojournalists in the business.

Smitty said...

Congrats, WGHP photog staff.. That's awesome!

CJ said...

Congrats to El Ocho! It's quite an honor.

Jorge_Guapo said...

well done, dudes. congrats.

in-gun-ear said...

Stew, you didn't tell the "other side" of the story about the hours of repair work it takes to keep that crack team ( or is that "cracker-jack" team?) of V-J's in the field! :)

Seriously, congrats dude to all of the 'shooters down in News! From someone who sees you guys from the inside on a daily basis pouring out the blood, sweat and tears for 70 seconds of air time with only an occasional on air attribute, you guys ROCK!!! Bask in your well earned spot light.

Engineering will still be there to fix your "boo-boo's". ;)

HockeyPat said...

And I thought all you did was hob knob with American Idol contestants and dodge run away trucks.

Good on you! I would trade jobs with you in a mintue. Sure, I help people. But most people hate State Employees more than the press. (Until they need us)

Colonel Corn's Camera said...

Congrats from the NBC station in Charlotte.

Megan Riley said...

Congratulations to the best photogs out there!

Anonymous said...

I just watched the winning entries, I was so impressed. I know this will never happen, but I would really enjoy the on-air work you all do so much more without that damned index bar. I really wish they would stop using that. It takes away from the story in my opinion, and beyond that the graphic just looks like something from the 1980s.

The first story in the entry about the wreck was great. The flash edits on "Bam, Bam, Bam," and "Bang, Bang, Bang," were excellent. I also really enjoyed Buckley's piece on the wood carver. I normally abhor Bob Buckley, but this one time I felt he held up his part of the bargain, wasn't obnoxious, and the photography on the piece was great.

Kudos to you guys.

It wasn't long ago when I was shooting a standup that enhanced my respect for photogs 200 fold. I was standing outside the Capitol in D.C., and my photog and I worked out a shot that required a tilt down from the dome. Then we added a zoom. This required the focus to change. Oh yeah, it was getting dark too, so she had to iris up from the brightly-lit dome, to the much more dimly-lit me. That's what, four things to do at once? That and listen to be sure the wireless mic wasn't cutting out because of all of the RF interference in the area. On a movie set one person shoots, another zooms, another pulls focus. In news it's a one-man show to pull all those stops.

You guys are the stars in this business, not us, and you deserve all the rewards, awards, and acknowledgements you can get. Thank you for making us look good.

Way to go!

cadencefilm said...

congrats to you and your crew.

robot said...

Awesome! Well done!