Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Year in Review

It's been quite the year to say the least. I started my first real job six months after graduating 
   college, which would put me at a year at this job in the beginning of December. I started at the 
   company's paper in Burlington County (NJ) at that time, and was moved over to the Bucks County 
   office in April for the Bucks County Courier Times. In that time, between the two papers, 40,000 
   miles I put on my car, and countless assignments of news, sports, features, spot news, portraits, etc. 
   I've ended up with a lot of mistakes and questions, but most importantly, a lot of experience.
   The photos that follow in this post include my favorite photos from both Burlington and Bucks 
   County. I realize there's a lot and I don't expect anyone to look at every photo individually, but see 
   what catches your eye. It's amazing looking back on the photos and thinking of how well I 
   remember everything. I don't have a good memory by any means, but for some reason, when I look 
   back at photos, I have a great memory about the experience taking them. I could even tell you what 
   kind of weather it was like when I took them.

   I must say, mostly to up-and-coming photographers...a lot of my favorite photos, including the first 
   three, are features, or "enterprise," (as they call it in the real world). No one ever wants to shoot 
   features. It always seems like a lost cause, a waste of gas and time, driving around with no light at 
   the end of the tunnel. But every once in a while, either with a little planning or none at all, you get 
   a photo that was totally great, totally unexpected, and something that you will be really proud to 
   bring back to the office.

   I've tried to be different this year. I've tried to stay at assignments longer...get things I wouldn't 
   normally like the band kid getting a sip of water at the water fountain after a summer practice on 
   an incredibly hot day. I've also tried to get something even if an assignment falters or is cancelled, 
   etc., like the photo of the soccer team getting back on the buses during a big rain and thunderstorm 
   over the summer. I want to show people things that they normally wouldn't pay attention to, to give 
   them a glimpse of who these people are aside from normal photos anyone could take of them. I try 
   to go beyond what I or others expect of an assignment. I love things out of the ordinary.
    This isn't a portfolio. I have that on my website. These are just some of my favorite photos from 
    this year (either published or unpublished). Some I had even forgotten about until I went on this 
    search. That's what happens. I'm glad I have a job where I get to meet people every single day. 
    That is essentially my job. Driving and meeting. And I love it. Some are more receptive than 
    others, but I try to be kind to everyone I meet. You never know when you meet someone; maybe it 
    is the worst (or best) day of their life. So I try to be respectful, approachable, and honest.
    Often it's patience too, that will get you the photo you want. It's tough sometimes, when you're on 
    deadline, and have to transmit photos back before a certain time during a big game. You don't 
    want to miss a beat. I'm learning patience and more efficient processing to get images I can be 
    proud of (it's tough now too with video in the mix).

    You don't have to understand why I chose each photo, I have my own reasons for each, but if you 
    find one you like, pause and look at all the different details of it. See more than what you observe 
    at first (thanks for that one, PL). Maybe you can see the art or personality I have seen in each. 
    Most importantly, enjoy.