Returning to my photojournalism roots

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There are a lot of things I learned on The Shorthorn multimedia desk. As editor in chief now, I occasionally need to revisit where I started.

The work

Everything starts with an assignment.

Sometimes you get the cushy job and end up in air condition, but many times you end up out in the sun taking photos of what happens.

I recently stepped out of my fancy office to follow a rookie photographer and spent time in the heat to remind myself of how extreme the job can be.

IMG_0165It reminded me that “dressing for the job you want” is not always the best. “Dress for the job you’re working” is more suitable. I wore jeans and a heavy cotton short that 91ºF day. By the time we returned to the office, I was soaked in sweat.

The office

While the sweat and hard work are done outside, there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes.

I’m happy to work closely with other photojournalists, who remind me that being a photographer is not glamorous.

Working a two hour assignment normally leads to a much longer editing process. There are possibly hundreds of photos to edit down into two or three useable images.

The friendships

You wouldn’t be able to see it immediately because the photo desk is extremely competitive, but there is a bond that forms quickly between photojournalists.

There is something supportive about being around people, who see the world in a similar way you do. While you compete with other photojournalists to see who has the best photos, you also start relying on them to help you perfect your art.

I’ve made a lot of long-time friends on the multimedia desk. Most started off as rivalries.

The return

I go back to my roots on the multimedia desk to remind myself of where I come from. It’s what I really love doing. I spend time with rookies because I find it important to see how much I’ve grown.

I wouldn’t be in my position as editor in chief without having been on the multimedia desk.

Why do you think it is important to revisit your roots? Comment below with your experiences. 

 

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