If you've ever stalked a plate glass window, you might be a photog. Relax, I'm not gonna go all Foxworthy on you - but the above self portrait by Gulf Coast photog Chris Sasser sure makes me want to. Why? Because, there isn't a news shooter alive who hasn't framed up his reflection and hit RECORD for the heck of it. Oh, it ain't vanity -- it's boredom. Hey, YOU loiter in a box store parking lot pretending you're invisible, see if you don't use every prison yard trick in the book. I've been known to count the paces between fire hydrants, scan the perimeter for Rent-A-Cops and keep an eye out for chatty pedestrians.
"You, Ma'am - in the Smurf Island t-shirt - care to tell me your opinion on the moratorium the city's not building? No? Okay, how about your son there. Surely any young man brave enough to bare that much underwear in public possesses a cogent understanding of local events ... if not a belt. What's that? You're calling security? You're aware this is a Wal-Mart, right? You know I slipped the head Greeter a couple of TV station bumper stickers to look the other way? Yeah, it's Standing Operating Procedure for those of us in the Corps - I mean those audio/visual geeks who never grew into a real job. See, it's right here in the Photog Handbook, page three, right between 'How to Dress Slovenly' and 'Why You're Allowed to Drive Like A Cop.' Here, I'll read it out loud......I'll be over there recording my reflection if you need me.
'When gathering man on the street interviews in possibly hostile parking lots, try to curry favor with the rental authority or volunteer retiree brigade through through the use of station freebies. Coasters, pencils, those logo'd propeller beanies that never really took off... Should they protest, it's often helpful to browbeat them with the name of your consumer reporter - or promise them the requisite goofy weatherman will gladly come to their child's classroom for a game of 'slap and tickle...'
How's that? You hate my station? You can't understand why the traffic chick outlines her lips in eyeliner? (Yeah, me neither.) Hmmm? Your husband is polishing his Conceal/Carry permit back in the El Camino? What's that?He won't let the fact that he's on full disability stop him from pistol-whipping a one person news crew???"