Wednesday, July 29, 2009
From Messiah to Pariah
Sure, that fancycam feels good on your shoulder, but if you're going to carry it around for any length of time, you'll have to get used to uncomfortable situations. I'm not talkin' cop car cockpits either, (though two hours in a tricked out Crown Vic with a certain type of officer will leave permanent scarring). No, I'm talking about the derision heaped on any news shooter brave enough to wander away from the waterskiing squirrel convention and toward, say, the courthouse. That's where you and your lens will plunge to new depths of unpopularity, for few folks want to be on the tee-vee when they're facing charges. It's something every photographer gets used to. Depending on your location, you can go from rockstar to leper in the time it takes a rickety elevator to dump you outside Courtroom "C".
Why in my time under the glass, I've been heckled by hippies, threatened by meth-heads and spat at by shackled madmen. And that was just outside traffic court! Move a little higher up the judiciary scale and you'll find all kinds of open hostility. I once had a dentist who was accused of fondling his unconscious patients act like I was the lecherous perv. Murder suspects and their weeping mothers have unleashed the kind of bile on me you usually have to watch a Lifetime movie to witness. More times than not, you're powerless to retaliate but I have found that a shit-eating grin and the occasional 'Enjoy your jumpsuit!" will silence the especially testy defendant.
Yes, I dare say I'm impervious to the kind of hallway taunts our justice system has to offer. Until I saw the above photo, in which a stoic shooter sits center square while a whole bunch of scary polygamists people mumble turn-of-the-century curses at the filthy fornicator in their midst. That his buddy thought to pop off a shot of his pain only makes him one of us. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go to the restroom. Seems the lady in the beehive threw some kind of hex on my nether region and I have to go change my underpants.
It's a living.