July 03, 2010
Variety is what makes my job interesting. I'd rather die than have to shoot this type of event day in and day out, but in the grand scheme of things, being part of the huge (useless, ridiculous, absurd) celebrity circus just adds to the variety of tasks a photojournalist is expected to do.
Some photographers specialize in celebrity photography (and do quite well). The only one respectably doing so in Canada described his skill has being able to both "be arrogant and suck-up in a single sentence". It's a fine line. One I'm trying to stay away from.
So it starts with the red carpet. These events always attract all kinds of wannabe photographers, working for themselves, for a shitty blog, or giving away pictures just to get a pass. For once, I found some of them to be useful:
About 50 to 100 "celebrities" will walk down the red carpet. 5 to 10 of them are actually important enough for us to need pictures, of which I know absolutely none.
They all look the same. Chatting to those fan / fake-photographers was actually really helpful as they knew almost everybody.
Now we tackled the event with 5 photographers. We had people posted on the red carpet, and later around the various stages. My assignment was to roam around, and find some pretty pictures; look for something different. My fellow photographers thought this was the best job, and I agreed.
Until I met the PR people. (I so hate them; beware the short lady with the clipboard and headset...)
I was herded back into a photo pit (in which we already had a shooter) and told this was the only place I could take pictures. I'd have to try and make something different, from the same spot everybody else is in... The first picture of this post is an example of what I was supposed to do, it was taken just before I got yelled at and taken back to the dedicated photo spots (for the second time of the night).
These PR people, whose job it is for us to make them and their event look as good as possible, do so by restraining us as much as they can. Think about it for a second, I simply wanted to wander around in the crowd.