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...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duck and Smother


Wanna totally throw off that pesky media scrum? It's easy: grab the back of any TV photographer's shirt and pull. He'll follow. Of course when he realizes you've led him away from the defendant and toward that soup kitchen, he'll probably want to brain you with the tripod he left in the truck, but hey - you're the one with nothing to do. The point of the matter is most photogs operate on pure muscle memory. Whether we're covering a hero's homecoming or a fresh felon's first stroll to the pokey, proper camera management only requires about 37 basic moves - 35 of which consist of walking backwards with one eye shut. Couple that with our natural herd mentality and you have quite possibly the key to media control. Just remember, what I'm about to jokingly suggest is highly ill-advised. If you cannot withstand a beatdown out by the satellite trucks, DO NOT attempt the following...

1) TV trucks surrounding your home? Have some neighborhood kid float a rumor that the local Radio Shack manager flipped out and is practically giving away duct tape and video connectors. Half the fleet should vanish.

2) Pushing through a gauntlet of heavily logo'd lenses? Start shouting every news slogan you've ever heard. Most photogs will wince at hearing their own, a few will lose their will to shoot and those two cats from the cable outlets will most probably turn on each other.

3) Remember how those hippies would stick daisies in the National Guardsman's gun barrells? Replace those flower petals with crisp Twenties and you Sir or Ma'am have bought your way out of three out of four walks of shame.

4) Sure, you can lower your skull and plow through the crowd of cameras but you'll only seem guiltier on the evening news. My advice? Head up, chest out, knowing chuckle at the ready. Yeah, you'll still make the broadcast - but think how chipper you'll look!

5) If that doesn't work, belt out a showtune or two. The former Sports guys will feel all icky inside, the old drama club techs will secretly swoon and the rest of us will trade enough quizzical looks to give you a chance to get away...

Just don't try to hide. We lenslingers take that as a personal challenge and will risk life and lens to hunt you down ... even if we were never really sure why we were pointing our camera at you in the first place. Now you know.

(Special Thanks to Charleston, West Virginia photog Adrian Mosby for use of his photo)

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