07 December 2012
My college journalism professor, Jack S Smith, was chief editor of the Associated Press in London during WWII and news editor for the Today Show until his retirement in 1980. I was photo editor of the college newspaper and D-76 pumped through my veins. It was one of my career fantasies to be a photojournalist... complete with safari jacket and a couple black bodied Nikons hanging around my neck and a Lucky Strike hanging outta my mouth.
We were discussing ethics in journalism one day when I asked Jack what purpose was served by sticking a camera lens in the face of a grieving mother who lost her son in a tragic accident. Jack said it was news and that years after the initial story, that image would still be around... telling its story. I thought of Capa, Weegee, W Eugene Smith and other photographers who had to stick a lens in a grieving face and I understood Jack. I also understood I didn't have that ability.
Years ago, I was asked to take photos of my mother in law's Christmas Tea. And long after the tea...the images are still around. Haven't had any hits Googling, "Christmas Tea Photographer Job" yet, but I'll keep trying.