A Photojournalist’s Tale

5 months ago… I was fresh off the boat, so to speak. I didn’t know a single soul in one of the biggest fashion events in the city.

I didn’t know a thing about fashion shows, except for watching one or two from the other side. Never been interested in fashion but shooting the event was such a joy.

This time around, I had to marvel at how many faces were now familiar – both among my peers and the models. I knew which faces I preferred to shoot and what I didn’t. I was a little jaded, a lot wiser about how these events worked.

People knew who I was and there was a seat saved for me to shoot if I walked in late. There were discussions about the event and I was a part of those conversations with snide comments about the show or anything else.

Having been on both sides – reporters and photographers, I think maybe photographers are a friendlier bunch. As reporters, particularly in lifestyle (not that I have done much of that), we tend to be a little more possessive about our beats. We want to get that one big story, that scoop and the drama that goes with it.

As photographers, you know that you need to lean on the other person someday. Sure, we are equally competitive but we also know that you need to share those shots with someone because you might need the same favor some day. And we all work together, and yet manage to get that award-winning shot.

I have been protective of my sources… that is a reporter’s bane too. I work to cultivate that source… I have been protective of my story ideas  because I have had them stolen when I have been too free… But there was also fun in bouncing ideas off my colleague and friend, fine tuning them over a cup of coffee, waiting for inspiration to strike.

Or maybe photographers are just more friendlier because your vision always differs. You can shoot the same thing but with a different angle, a different perspective.

I love that sense of camaraderie before we head into a shoot and how each goes into a cocoon while shooting… the jokes that come after or a slight huff when you miss that shot. You are in a group and yet you are not.

I guess I have to say this now… I’m more of a photojournalist than just a reporter now.

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