Another (A)Typical Day


©2009 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

It’s strange what a burning truck will conjure in your memory. Some years out of college, I went to visit my childhood friend and his wife. He had become a wildly successful investment banker on Wall Street, and I was working for a small newspaper in Southern California. In casual conversation, his wife, who I was meeting for the first time, asked me the question that many believe is the norm, “So you chase car accidents, right?”  I was reminded of this on Friday, as I was walking down a street and looked down an alley to see a truck in flames.  In the typical day of a newspaper photographer, you should know this almost never happens. At least, not for me. I’m shooting portraits, or planned events, on most days. If I do shoot spot news, I’m more likely to find the scene at right, which is from later that evening. I arrive at a gas explosion and firefighters are kicked back, coats off, slapping each other on the back after a hard-won battle, with me left to shoot my imagination.  It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m waiting to arrive after some big calamity to have some 8 year-old show me some amazing photo from his cellphone…” (p.s. no one was hurt in photo at left)

Alex Garcia

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