My deadline draws closer

Siblings–The image above taken in 2001 with a Nikon D1 is among my favorite of my kids. I don’t recall much about it. Just dad with kids playing out front of the house. Most of my favorite family pictures are seat-of-the-pants variety. I’m either ready or I’ll catch it another time. The trick is to always be ready with that camera. Then you can make it seem like luck.

As the day for my “show” at Back to the Grind draws closer and closer, I am feeling a little anxiety.

Those of you who live in the area, mark the day on your calendar April 1.

Riverside has its monthly Art Walk, the 1st Thursday of every month which begins at 6 pm.

If you’re around, come by and say hi. I promise this is not a gag or a practical joke.

I’m grappling with what to display.

It would be nice if all the pictures could be work I’ve done since I left the newspaper.

Newspaper photography no matter how good it is, has the unfortunate stigma that it has little value beyond the day the picture ran.

Hence the low brow reaction and the putdown, “Your work is only good enough to wrap the goods at a fish market or line the bird cage.”

No shelf life.

There are exceptions no doubt especially if the image is memorable, famous and has changed the course of history.

There is a mindset amongst news photographers that they’re only as good as the last picture they took.

That sort of thinking comes from the constant reminding by the management at newspapers.

The editors and decision-makers like to hold that standard over your head while you’re under their employ mostly because they want to squeeze the most out of you.

Most photographers at newspapers are very conscientious about their work.

If it was bad picture, they can make all sorts of excuses, but in the end, it’s their name in the byline.

That reminder motivated me more than the 25-cent-an-hour raise my boss would wave in front of me.

Fisherman in Kota Kinabalu–During my visit to East Malaysia, I came across this fisherman and his son gazing pensively into the South China Sea. It was the colors that beckoned me to raise my camera.

I like spontaneity in my pictures. That’s what drew me towards photography in newspapers.

So you might see  a hodge-podge of personal pictures like the one above of my kids.

I might include the one above of a fisherman and his son gazing into the South China Sea.

When it comes to taking pictures, it’s good to know what is your fail-safe picture for any given assignment.

But it’s also important that you push yourself to experiment and get out of the comfort zone.

Address the needs of your clients first, but don’t overlook your own.

There have been times I was disappointed the client didn’t agree with my choices like the portrait of Rebecca O’Connor –the Lady Falconer.

In the end, what matters is I gave the client what they wanted and I also found a picture which I liked.

2 thoughts on “My deadline draws closer”

  1. Shane,
    Great to hear from you! It’s easier to help someone else decide. When it comes to your own work, it ‘s difficult to step back and look at your own work with the same kind of detachment.

    Hope all is well with you. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  2. Hi Peter,

    I can see why you are having problems deciding which photos to use. You seem to have so many good one’s! “Fisherman in Kota Kinabalu” is definitely a keeper.

    Best of luck to you!

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