I have found that after you work through all the glitz and glamor out here that what you find is pretty much an endless schedule of press conferences. Okay, subtract the glitz and glamor part. We haven’t had much of that but we have had a bunch of press conferences. And there are more to come. Three for today I believe. You know, as a photographer, there are just so many things you can do with a press conference and then it gets a bit repetitive. I can only imagine what it would be like to be on the other side of the camera or microphone.
None the less, I am in Southern California which appears to be the only place in America where it isn’t ice box cold. Michael Casagrande and I actually took about a half hour and ran down to a public beach today for a much needed break from, you guessed it, press conferences. There were actual people in swim suits playing on the beach and in the water and the calendar says January out here too. Remarkable!
So the glamorous life of a photojournalist continues. Really, I am tongue in cheek here because I am very happy and thrilled to be here even if we have covered a bunch of press conferences. There is a little football game coming up Thursday night and I think it will be fun to cover it. Oh, speaking of press conferences, I met Jay Janner today who is a very excellent photojournalist from The Austin American Statesman newspaper. You can see a link to Jay’s blog in the blogroll. Check it out sometime. I also ran into Sportsshooter founder Robert Hanashiro who shoots for USA Today. I introduced myself and got the polite smile which I would have given to someone if the roles were reversed. Actually, I have run into a bunch or really excellent and noteworthy photojournalists and expect to see a bunch more come game time.
I have not met any movie stars yet which is actually for the best. Lord only knows what would happen if I came across Sandra Bullock! (Don’t worry Honey, it was a joke. Really!) I don’t think I would recognize most of them anyway. I have a very short list of actors that I like and an even shorter list of ones I would recognize outside of their movie characters.
By the way, speaking of press conferences, you really do have to work the angles to get something different. No matter where you are or what job you are shooting you always have to work the assignment hard. Treat it like it is the first time you have done it. Shoot wide, shoot medium, shoot long, shoot low, shoot high and when you can’t think of any other way to shoot look around and see what everyone else is doing and do something different from that. I did that with the picture of Terrence Cody. I just backed up and used a 300mm lens from across the room and got the big smile amid a swirl of reporters. To work any assignment effectively you need to do the basics that got you there to begin with. When you are given the opportunity to shoot a big job make the most of it by doing the things you do well. You can try some different things but that should be part of your routine anyway.
If you still shoot the same way you did two or three years ago it is past time to shake things up a bit. Use your standard techniques and then shake yourself. Make yourself see it differently. I actually brought my 300 f2.8 to the media day because after observing the other photographers working I saw that no one brought their 300. I did it because I knew it would give me something that no one else had. Try it. You might like it.
Photos copyright Gary Cosby Jr., The Decatur Daily. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.