With the February book mercifully over, it’s strictly general assignment work for your humble lenslinger. That means I’ll be at the mercy of the News Gods, those schizophrenic deities who hurl whim and happenstance my way in the most incovenient order. That’s not to say I don’t know what I‘ll be doing...
For I’m fairly certain I’ll soon be in pursuit of the freshly upturned. Not that we chase a lot of bent sheet metal ( as I assured a photog candidate last week), but with a couple of high-speed interstates and a dozen or so police entities around these parts, it’s a safe bet I’ll be schlepping electronics up someone‘s asphalt pretty soon. If the prospect of that won’t get you out of bed every morning, perhaps you should look into selling Amway.
Or you could just stick to the press conference beat. There’s never a shortage of those. Whether it’s the Governor chortling through a series of shout-outs or a city councilwoman calling for the head of another, there’s always fun to be had when the podium is manned. Okay, that’s a lie. Most pressers suck. Ninety-nine percent of the sound recorded at them never makes air - a fact that always seem to escape the attention of all those choked-up orators.
When I’m not asleep on my feet in front of a crowd, I’m usually driving around like a madman without a road-map. But daze spent behind the wheel are just a part of the photog life, for all those news items don’t exactly come to us. Instead we have to go pick it up on a moments notice and get it to the viewers before it crystallizes into tomorrow’s headline. All that last minute delivery doesn’t happen without some truly stupid parking, something I’ve been working years at to perfect.
But no matter where the gig takes me, you can damn sure bet I’ll take my sticks. That’s because nothing shores up your shot like a set of artificial shoulders. Trouble is, ‘shouldering’ is about all they’re good for. They don’t walk, stand up by themselves or make for very good conversationalists, but you won’t find a self-respecting photog on the planet who doesn’t cherish his ’pod. Well, there was that one guy, but who needs stability when all you shoot are spiraling footballs and locker room philosophy?
Tools aside, there is another element of newsgathering I can be assured of encountering. Label it by-product, excrement or straight up shee-yite, they’ll be more than enough fecal matter to go around, both underfoot and theoretic. How I handle said daily crap-fest is more a matter of my mood than anything else. Sometimes handle it with aplomb, I most often bitch a little as I pick it out of my teeth. You would too, I bet.