The wheel turns at Navy Pier a recent morning, and a new month of assignments brings new highs and lows in the life of our city. I was asked a fairly frequent question on Friday, “So what is your typical day like?” As viewers of this blog know, every day is atypical. I’m on a day shift which means that I get whatever happens during that period of time. I usually find out that morning, with many changes during the day. Think of photo assignments as airplanes needing air traffic control. If you look at assignments on radar, the flight path of one photojournalist from another could be completely different owing to the time of day and other circumstances. If I’m a night guy working weekends, it means I’m shooting a lot of sports. When I worked in Southern California, I would be out at photographing Rams or Raiders game every weekend. I even shot NFC Championships and a Superbowl. But as a Chicago photographer, I haven’t shot a single Bears or Bulls game in 10 years (OK with me, BTW). So in addition to time of day, the size of paper makes a difference. If I worked at a smaller paper, I might be shooting a feature picture story of an interesting character in the community on a regular basis. At a larger paper, that character might become a portrait to occupy the lead in a sweeping piece about interesting characters in a region. Each approach has its strengths, but it will color a photojournalist’s portfolio. As a result, the work of a photojournalist and his newspaper is symbiotic. Below is a short sampling of my photo assignments from the past month. Since moving to an earlier morning shift, I found there tends to be more overnight crime than at other points in my career.
(I don’t describe those that haven’t been published yet or which are multiple day assignments. Many assignments, in which I check on a police report, don’t get listed either).