You can’t just call yourself a photojournalist.
It’s not a “style” of photography. Something that you can “offer” as a service.
To be considered a real photojournalist in Albany, you have to clear a few hurdles:
As a former full time editorial photographer and photojournalist for a newspaper, I covered tens of thousands of news assignments. Seriously it was that many and thats not marketing puffery or hyperbole. Tens of thousands of assignments. Those assignments involved breaking news, disasters, feature stories on people in the community, sports, scheduled events, press conferences, politics, features … the list is basically everything you would see in the report from a daily news organization. Everything you would see before major investment corporations took over news operations, gutted them, and turned them into entertainment and opinion mongering organizations I mean. In other words, I learned to chronicle daily life as it happened, as best I could see it.
My education was completed at Syracuse University with a degree in photojournalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Finishing school, I secured a job as a full time staff photojournalist at a daily newspaper in the Albany NY region. My work involved completing assignments for my newspaper as well as taking on any non-conflicting freelance work for other news organizations outside of the time I was responsible to work for my newspaper.
The job involved widely variable assignments, often with no notice, sometimes under very difficult working conditions. And that helped develop my ability to work with people. To be able to read them and understand their feelings … to know what was important to them.
Leaving the news business I have spent over a decade working as a corporate and editorial photographer. Quite a bit of my work comes from doing portraiture and documentary work for larger corporations. And while this is not pure photojournalism, the photos I do for these organizations are informed by how I worked for decades as a photojournalist. The demand has waned for work as a photojournalist in Albany, but I do still get clients who call and want to hire someone who is an experienced photojournalist. And it’s easy for me, with my years and years of doing that full time, to revert back into that mode of working.
The Firemen’s Association of New York has contracted me to cover the annual Fallen Firefighter memorial ceremony at the Fallen Firefighter memorial at Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY every fall for several years.
The requirements of my client, as well as the solemnity of the ceremony, both mean that I have to work as an unobtrusive photojournalist and not get in the way of nor impede anyone at the event. I need to anticipate and to capture as opposed to spend my time managing and directing. To be certain, after the event there is a little bit of managed photography that has to take place. The organization needs a few portraits and group photos and I’m able to organize and manage those quickly for the people who have other places to be besides standing around for a photographer.
But the bulk of the coverage involves looking for the emotion in what is a very emotional event. To look for the tradition and ceremony that speaks to the honor conferred for this ceremony. And to look for the beautiful moments like this one, where I saw the split-view of the firefighters emerging from the shadow carrying their flags above the darkness in front of the memorial.
You can see more of my work from this annual event on my blog at the links which follow. You’ll see the ceremony and the speakers. The emotion of a flag presentation to the family members of those who were lost because of unflinching service to their duty as firefighters.
Fallen firefighter memorial ceremony coverage
Firemen’s Association press conference coverage
A favorite image, that others are copying now, from this event
Call me at 1 (518) 843-0414
I’ll handle your assignment with no fuss. It will be done as promised. On time. For the budget we agree to. You’ll be billed in a timely fashion with no problems. You can set things up with me, and forget about me.
Let me be part of your team.
Looking forward to partnering with you.
Location: NYS Fallen Firefighters Memorial.