Maybe the most important thing that I learned about working at a daily newspaper was that you never give up and never walk away without a picture.
We didn’t wait until the spirit moved us to populate the newspaper with photographs. We either put our best work forward of we’d lose the space to something less relevant like a bunch of words. Or worse, a newswire shot.
If I would have walked into the newsroom empty-handed and said something weak like, “I’m blocked today” you can bet that after the laughing stopped I’d be shown the door.
It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in that world but I still carry those lessons with me.
Not too long ago I had a scheduled session in St. Pete Beach, Florida with a guy who drove an hour to meet me at the appointed place and time.
We converged on the session location just as a deluge started. Luckily we were sheltered from the storm and next to a coffee shop. I invited my subject to join me for an Americano with the hopes that the storm would pass.
At the end of our second round, it became obvious that the rain wasn’t going away. The subject pulled out his calendar and started looking at alternate dates for a do-over.
I asked him to put his diary away and get ready because this shoot was happening.