My Most Memorable Assignment

Reporters and newspaper photographers don’t have much. At least the ones I know, don’t.

They tend to drive reliable cars over flashy ones unless of course their spouse makes a ton of money.

So suffice to say most reporters and newspaper photographers who still have a job today are not highly paid.

But what they do have is lots of “war stories.” It’s part and parcel of being around “news”.

What might my most memorable story be after 22 years?

Are you guys ready for this one? Just promise me you won’t laugh.

I had an assignment to shoot a picture of Shaquile O’Neal’s basketball sneaker once. Thank goodness it was just once.

Can you picture this? I had to approach the Laker’s PR person and ask for Shaq’s shoe!

I don’t recall now who the sports reporter was who dreamed up a story about Shaq’s shoes.

The thing of it is, if Shaq was to be in the picture, then I had something to work with.

But, the darn reporter didn’t think his presence was pertinent, so didn’t arrange it!

Pox on the him and his heirs. May he and his heirs marry women with stinky feet!

Wish I had kept a newspaper clipping of that story.You do realize that a picture of a sneaker without an object for scale is meaningless, don’t you?

So not only did I had to sheepishly ask for Shaq’s shoes but when I couldn’t find someone to pose with it, I had to suffer the indignity of being in the picture with a Shaq’s shoe!

So much for glamor and news photography. Now that I think of it, I don’t recall exactly how the picture ran.

The self-portrait done via self-timer showed yours truly standing upright and Shaq’s shoe placed next to me.

The heel of Shaq’s shoe was on the ground toe pointing upright. I, of course, cropped my face out of the picture.

It came up to my knee, by the way, on my 5′ 6″ frame.