Just one person can transform an average assignment and a really fun assignment that generates good photographs. I was reminded of that yesterday.
I groaned silently when I got the e-mail from the managing editor. We were to cover the a local school district’s annual educators’ excellence award press conference . This was to be the 22nd such presser and it seems like I covered half of them. Probably not that many, but it seems like it.
Unaware they’d gotten the award, recipients are lured to the press conference under false pretenses and once they arrive, they are told of the award. There are hugs, perhaps big smiles, a lot of handshakes but not much else.
Some years, we’ve skipped the press conference and relied on mug shots of the winners provided by the school district. But when the ME says do it, well, we do it.
Of course, all photojournalists should approach each assignment with enthusiasm and the idea that each assignment is a chance to make a fresh photograph, one that is better than the last photograph from that same assignment. This is theory – very good theory – but it’s sometimes hard to put that theory into practice.
So, with somewhat-equal parts of enthusiasm and lack of enthusiasm off I went to the press conference.
The first recipient:
A nice hug from his wife. Nice emotion, but not great.
The second recipient:
The greeters have nice expressions and show emotion but Sanchez gives us only a smile (but at least a big smile).
The third recipient:
An image of the first two recipients, Sanchez and Flores, would work but I wanted more. Something with more emotion, more feeling.
Then came Christina Carlson. Her subdued entrance didn’t bode well for me.
But things get better – in a big hurry.
This photo would work. But she just kept giving me more, better images.
Still more emotion:
And finally, the money photo. This is the photo which led our local section this morning.
It’s always great to people get excited about something and especially great to photograph that excitement.
My lesson for the day was a reminder; that we, as photographers, should always approach every assignment, even the seemingly routine ones, with enthusiasm and a commitment to produce the best photos possible. And who knows? Maybe there will be a Christina Carlson there to help you out.