Sometimes photography is more about quick thinking and problem-solving than actual photography. Taking a photo isn’t the hard part. Figuring out what photo to take and how to take it is the hard part.
For photojournalists working under tight deadlines figuring out the “how” is made even harder by a looming deadline.
Sometimes the solution isn’t always the best or most visual answer but hey – it’s a solution that allows the photo to be taken by the deadline.
We just have to do the best we can with each assignment and then move on to the next one.
One of our reporters is doing a story on rising milk prices. Rather than photograph a dairy (which we’ve done before for another high milk prices story) arrangements were made to photograph a worker re-stocking the milk case at a local grocery store.
When I got to the store (15 minutes ahead of the appointed time) I was told the case had already been stocked. I still needed to get some sort of milk photo so I had to quickly find a solution to this problem.
My solution? Shoot from the inside of the cooler looking out and hope that a customer would stop and pick up milk. I wanted a customer in the photo to add at least some human element to the photo.
Perhaps the hardest part of getting this photo was waiting in the near-freezing cooler for a customer to stop at the dairy case. I was dressed for warm weather, not the cold of a milk cooler. And since it was a weekday morning I had to wait nearly a half-hour for a customer to come along. By that time I was starting to shiver but I didn’t want to step out of the cooler for fear that I would miss a customer.
I know this is not a particularly dynamic photo but it is eye-catching in that it’s shot from a different perspective. It illustrates the story – sort of.
But I was able to beat the deadline and then move on to my next assignment.