Thursday, August 21, 2014

Yesterday at the Office: The Great Feature Hunt

Minutes before pulling into the office parking lot at The Virginian-Pilot, I received a text from one of our photo editors. Two stories for the next day's paper had been postponed--so we would need some standalone art for the paper. 

In general, I love a good news story and even better, I love having the opportunity to shoot them. It's what I do. But, every now and then you get the call for a feature photo and the newsroom usually needs it ASAP. 

Some people greatly dislike feature hunting. The pressure of a deadline is looming and you've got to produce now. When you're out on a hunt you never know what you're going to get. Even if you put in the time, you can still come back with your tail between your legs. 

However, yesterday I was determined to make something happen that I was proud to bring home. I started to head to a house I had seen the day before where a group of kids were playing on a huge monstrosity of a water slide castle. Often times you make little notations in your head when you're out and about. "Oh, cool waterslide thingy. Possible standalone feature. Take note." As a news photographer, I tend to collect these sites and spots and keep them in my back pocket in case I get the call. 

Yesterday, it happened. 

But, while en route to the slide I decided I didn't want to chase down the kids. I wanted to step it up a little more. I also wanted to shoot something that might offer some new information to our readers. The question I posed to myself was, "What sort of activities are out there for kids to do in the summer?"

So I turned and started heading to another location I had in mind, but before I got there I recalled an old boxing gym I had always wanted to venture into and photograph. I started looking for it but wasn't having any luck. 

In the interim of my search I was turning in and out of side streets just in case something else caught my eye while hunting. A few boys were jogging down the street in what looked like wrestling or boxing shoes. Bingo! I pulled alongside them and asked if they were boxers and if there was a boxing club nearby. They said, "Yeah, follow us." 

It wasn't the gym I was originally looking for but once I walked in I knew I had hit the jackpot. 

This morning I woke up and grabbed the paper. The Pilot ended up running two images on our local section front and we also put together a slideshow for our online content. Even after years of doing this, I still get a childlike kick out of seeing my byline under a four column photo in the paper! 

Thanks to the kids of Team Norfolk Boxing and to Coach Peek for taking the time to welcome me into their gym. Enjoy!

All images are © The Virginian-Pilot 2014 : for more of my work visit my tumblr feed. 

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