Dealing with the Unexpected on Assignments


Photographer John Loomis wrote an interesting
blog post
about an assignment he once did for ESPN the Magazine.

Hired to cover NASCAR driver Greg Biffle, the assignment turned out much differently than expected (a planned fishing trip was spoiled by rainy weather and Biffle’s arm in a sling), leading John to the conclusion that assignments themselves are living, breathing things, prone to unexpected outcomes and radical shifts of focus — all normally well beyond the photographer’s control.

John explains that it can be difficult to fulfill the obligations to your client while simultaneously recognizing the limits of your subject:

Do you fight for more access now and possibly ruin your good will for later? All I think you can do is go with your gut and try to give yourself the best opportunity to do good work. My inclination and preference is to always go with the flow, because that’s how I view my job as a documentary photographer, but I’m also perfectly willing to stand up for myself and my client, resorting to being a giant fucking prick if need be, if it means saving the assignment from falling apart.

Given the choice, that’s kind the photographer virtually every client wants.

[tags]photography, photo blog, John Loomis, Greg Biffle, andrea weckerle[/tags]


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