Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Monday, August 14, 2006

No Business Being a Photog

Real-World Criteria, with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy...

If you’re unable to walk backwards down a twisting stairwell with one eye closed and a shoulder in pain - or unwilling to apologize to those you trample in the attempt - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If you haven’t taken the time to learn what every button on your camera is for - and figure out which ones you can afford to ignore without getting fired - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If you’re appalled by the idea of missing hours of sleep because some cross-town psycho you don’t know shot his wife and is now waving his pistol at the SWAT team - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If you don’t know how to color-correct a bad white balance, tweak audio from the comfort of an edit booth, or at least convince some uppity producer you’ve already done so - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If the idea of parking a rickety satellite truck right by the ocean as a Class 3 Hurricane slams onshore doesn’t strike you as most probably a damn good time- then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If you don’t grow noticeably stoked at an unexpected reflection, a natural silhouette, the pleasures of compression or a well-placed backlight - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If a volunteer fireman with a walkie-talkie, a fancy flashlight and a small man’s complex is enough to convince you the road ahead is indeed closed - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If you’re uncomfortable being the only person at a stuffy formal affair who’s dressed like they’re about to do a few upside-down keg-stands at a buddy’s picnic - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

If you’re afraid of being flipped-off in traffic, pawed over at football games, shunned at the shopping mall and heckled at the crime tape- all in the same shift - then you’ve got no business being a photog.

And finally...

If a giant mother-ship of a UFO swoops in on your ribbon-cutting and starts picking off local politicians with purple laser beams to the chest while the rest of the crowd flees in terror - if your first and only instinct isn’t to lock in and follow the action ’til you possibly catch a bolt of your own - then you, sir or ma’am, got no business being a photog.

Otherwise, you’re good-to-go!

7 comments:

Billy Jones said...

Wow, I dare say I think you did Jeff proud!

turdpolisher said...

If your idea of a Sunday doesn't innclude eating with one hand and smoking with the other while talking on the cell phone, reading a map, dialing in Disturbed on Sirius and driving with your knees...

Carolyn said...

I have a true photog tale:

My husband - a former photog - and I had taken a much needed vacation at the beach. This was years ago, pre kids, when we were still both in news. We were standing out on the back deck of the beach house one night, enjoying a few beers, and I looked up at the perfect, pearl white full moon hanging in a star dappled ink black sky. I leaned over and said "Look how beautiful the moon is tonight." in what I thought was a very romantic way. He looked up, went completely still and then said: "Wow. I wish I had my camera. That would make a great shot."
So if you're not willing to put up with moments like that, I guess you shouldn't be the wife of a photog.

Matt W said...

Stewart
Check out www.newsblues.com !!

Anonymous said...

Another true photog tale. I got married recently and invited a few reporter friends to the wedding. Well, the wedding ceremony and reception was in the mountains...during fire season. Sure enough a lightning storm started two small grass fires. Far enough away that they didn't pose a threat but close enough that you could see the glow of the flames. The first thing the reporters said to me after the ceremony? Not "beautiful dress" or "wonderful ceremony" but an excited "There's a wildfire! Look you can see it really good from here!" And I have to admit there was a small part of me that wished I had a camera.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for confirming that it is now time to quit being a photog. NONE of what you posted up there appeals to me anymore. Maybe it's the five week old boy who now graces the lives of me and my wife. Just don't care about the shooting anymore. Cheers, fellow shooters! It's been real.

TakinPitchas said...

Dude, Once it's in you... really in you... You're always a photog.

I'm out of the biz... But when a storm rolls in on the Gulf... I have such a hard time staying away... even now.

It stirs in you. It's a joy, a rush... a hunger almost. It makes you feel alive.

Yeah, you gotta love it.