When going into a new or unfamiliar situation I’ve always found it useful to get there early and find the person in charge and ask him or her what’s going to be happening and when. This way I can hopefully put myself in the right place at the right time for a good photograph.
Of course, this approach isn’t always possible. Sometimes there’s no one in charge and sometimes the person in charge doesn’t know what’s going on.
If there’s a program or agenda, that may answer any questions I’ve got. But sometimes the agenda gives only a hint of what’s going to happen, so more questions are necessary.
It never hurts to ask questions (and probably the worst that can happen is that someone will ignore you).
I took a recent assignment to cover a luncheon using the (usually) friendly rivalry between University of Washington supporters and Washington State University supporters to raise money.
(As a side note – I really dreaded the prospect of covering this event. I mean, really — how visual could a fundraising lunch be? Turns out I was wrong. So, lesson remembered — never assume an assignment is going to suck.)
Not knowing the agenda for the event, I bee-lined to the MC, who explained what was going to happen and when.
As a result, I was able to position myself for this image:
Earl Hall, right, celebrates after the Washington Huskies won the coin toss at the annual Apple Cup luncheon sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Yakima. (L-R) Washington State University Cougar Pete Nissen, referee Terry Langley and Husky Frank Davenport look at the coin on the floor. The club uses the luncheon and the rivalry of the annual University of Washington-Washington State University football game to raise money for various programs it sponsors. The winner of the coin toss gets to choose which school’s fight song is sung first at the luncheon. At Friday’s luncheon the Huskies won and deferred, so Cougar supporters sang first. (GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic)
And this photo.
Benine McDonnell, right, leads a dance line of Washington State University supporters at the annual Apple Cup luncheon Nov. 21, 2014. At left is Bre Story. (GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic)
If I hadn’t asked questions I surely would have missed the first photo and perhaps the second. So, it pays to ask!