"You been robbed, Lenslinger! All I heard on the 10-year hurricane anniversary was Bob Buckley, Bob Buckley. The video was the THING!"
I had to chuckle when I received this tweet, for A.) it's from a local newspaper editor who probably watches more TV news than I do and B.) it's spot on. But lest you think I'm feeling sorry for my own beleaguered breed, understand this: It's an accepted part of the gig. As much as we TV news shooters might like a little credit, most viewers rarely care. I'm cool with that; if I yearned for televised attaboys, I'd still be shooting my own stand-ups at the end of the day. I walked away from that a long time ago and not just because I grew tired of changing into a dress shirt by the side of the road. No, I turned photog 'cause it just felt natural. That and nobody was demanding this average white guy keep stepping in front of the lens. Sure I could probably worm my way back on-air but I learned a long time ago that being gestured at in the Wal-Mart parking lot don't feed the bulldog. I'm far more interested in visual storytelling, be it my preferred solo methods or as part of our continuing team smotherage of calamities past.
That's exactly what Buckley and I have been up to this past week, slicing, dicing and spicing up the footage we gathered weeks ago in Hurricane Floyd's decade old wake. Though my eyeballs have bled from the extended edit sessions, I'm reasonably proud of the assembled pixels. For photogs like me, that's enough. See, no TV shooter worth his (or her) first white-balance sticks with this gig for plaudits alone. There's more glory in gutter-repair. So while those still shooters have their photo credits and the news anchors have their promos, we lenslingers generally do it for the love of the game. Why else would we break our collective backs erecting spotlights? Trust me, it ain't the money. It's the access to continuous intrigue. As for Mr. Bob Buckley (seen above flanking Floyd survivor Monika Barkley along with some unknown techie), he's a master of the form with a gift for explaining the esoteric. Hey, who else can work Copernicus into a story about silly string?
No photog I know...