Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cop or Fireman?

I'm not trying to start anything. We all do different jobs and I was just imagining what it might feel like to be a policeman or fireman.

This is the result of the trifecta of needing to get something posted, boredom, and nothing really interesting happening the last couple of days.

So, stay with me here. I'm chewing on this analogy about what I do as a news photographer (a job which I truly love even on slow days). I was thinking about how when events are happening and we're rushing to get to a scene, I feel like a policeman. All the adrenaline, but none of the flashing lights and sirens.

We go out and do our jobs. Hopefully when we're done, the world is maybe a tiny bit better for us having done something.

Also, every now and then, we even help catch the bad guy.

This is probably the most embarrassing image I've ever posted. At this point, four stations were covering an LAUSD press conference. Not one of us had a microphone stand.

Does this happen on a regular basis?

You bet it does. It's almost standard procedure. Somebody finally showed up with a proper mic stand. It was just too late to do the early arrivers any good. We had to leave them and this is now officially my pet peeve.

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked.

So, I was saying on busy days, my job feels like what I imagine a policeman feels like when rolling out to cover the city.

Thinking like a fireman, on slow days, I feel like I'm just waiting for something to happen. I know it will eventually, but the anticipation can get to you.

While I'm waiting, I could go ahead and fix a pot of chili, get my exercise in, watch a movie (maybe write more), but mostly I just make sure I'm ready. I have to be ready for when the big alarm sounds.

Ask any policeman or fireman, it's never a case of "if" something happens. It's "when" something happens.

When it does, I hope to "be" there.


Widescreen said...


Now I have been in this same position, however our Reporters are our mic stands! We have some soundo’s but unfortunately they either get the big jobs or courts.

Our reporters mostly hold their own mics or sometimes two to help someone out. We leave one reporter to stand behind the cameras to give an eyeline and ask the talent to direct all answers that way.

The other thing we do is to use one wireless mic and send it to all crews on the one frequency. But seems there were plenty of people standing around. Surprised no one stepped up to hold a mic.

Like the post, might use it for one myself down the track!

BTW the guy with the sleeveless blue shirt……….would never happen here. An absolute no no. No network would go that look.

beFrank said...

widescreen - Ha-ha, we call our reporters mic stands also.

The reporters hold the mics unless it's an organized press conference like this one. Often the group or person holding the presser will provide a mic stand.

This is just one of the few times when they didn't.

Widescreen said...

but even in the organised ones we don't get mic stands. The other week, for the first time, our political minders turned up with a stand that could hold up to 20.

I actually thought the thing would collapse under the weight. No matter, only three of us turned up!

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