I’m an industrial photographer who sometimes accepts journalism asignments.
I was covering a townhall event some years ago and was trolling for a spot at the back of the auditorium for some long-shots of the Washington State govenor. I lucked into a sweet little pocket right behind the middle-last seats. As I set up my tripod a gravelly voice behind me growled, “Guy, my shot’s blocked!” I turned to see a cheap t-shirt not quite covering the hairy paunch of an unshaved camera operator from a local news crew. Other crews on my left and right had set up farther forward, but they all had dressed as if they had just left factory jobs to get to the event. In my jacket and tie I stuck out–I didn’t meet code.
I’m a deferential kind of guy who avoids confrontation. If one of the regular news photographers really needed to share my spot, and asked nicely, I’d have bent over backwards to make extra room. So I looked into the eyes of the hairy Buddha-belly guy behind me and replied, gently, “I guess you’re not in a good spot back there”.
I may not be a veteran photojournalist, but a fifty dollar tie has a few rights over a two dollar t-shirt.
Unlike the scruffy veterans, I was invited to meet and photograph the governor after the event. They served me good scotch.
Oct. 31, 2012