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!
Okay, 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.
We'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.
Then 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.