You want ME to take pictures?

The only covered bridge along the Air-Line Trail

Yes, I really took this picture

I’ve taken pictures for the Chronicle two separate occasions. Once was a bridge installment along the Air Line State Park Trail, and the second was a high school graduation. I liked the bridge installment a lot more. The picture above actually made the front page. (It felt really good)

I had to write both stories and take pictures for both because the paper’s REAL photographers were busy. By busy, I mean that we were swamped with things to cover. With so many towns and only a couple of photographers, it’s hard to be everywhere at the same time. I had no problem with it, though. For both of the stories, I actually volunteered myself to take the pictures. I knew I could do it, but it was just a question of how bad the pictures were going to come out.

My problem? I suck at taking pictures. I will be the first to admit that. I should be better at doing it, but I never really put the effort into learning how.

I can remember when my boss at CCSU’s The Recorder asked me to try to take pictures at a faculty senate meeting. He said he wasn’t guaranteeing that he was going to use any, but he wanted me to at least try. I told him I would give it a shot.

I proceeded to take the worst pictures in the history of journalism.Trust me. If I remember correctly, I never even stood up from my chair at the meeting to take any of the pictures. The meeting was a good one. I think I had two stories from it and both were on deadline for that week’s paper. My EIC never spoke of the pictures until a couple of days later, when I jokingly asked if he had even looked at them.

I may have some of this wrong, but in a nutshell the conversation went a lot like this:

Me: “Did you check out those pictures I took the other day?”

Nick: “Yeah….”

Me: “Well?…. What did you think?”

Nick: “Stick to writing news.”

Full disclosure: My boss at the time was Nicholas Proch and we got along great during my last semester at CCSU.

That conversation should have been a heads up to myself to put in the effort to be a better photographer. It never hit home.

Over the last couple of months, I have started asking the full-time photographers questions. It’s not much and I could ask more, but it’s a start. I know that in today’s journo world I HAVE to be able to write the stories, but take photos and videos for them.

If there’s one thing I know I should be working on, besides my writing, it has to be the multimedia aspect of being a journo.

Jonathan

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3 Responses to You want ME to take pictures?

  1. This sounds all-too familiar…I was a miserable photographer when I started journalism in high school. I was forced to take photos this summer for my internship, and voila! Practice really does make perfect. Or at least passable…

  2. Pingback: Pretending to be a Photographer « Just Starting Out

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