On the way back from a call, I often think that there were certain situations/moments that would have lent themselves very nicely to a photographer's presence. It's the potential action shots, mostly; but there are of course some interesting, compelling, and out-right ridiculous moments in this job that would most likely never present themselves the same way again (imagine actually being able to see the scene where the crackhead from a few weeks ago found out I was a rookie and stormed off. Images make any story better!)
I haven't been writing on RL for the past week because I've been working on a way to combine my love of photography with my love of this job; while not as extreme (and highly illegal, in the case of medical calls) as stopping what I'm doing to take pictures of stuff/people while I'm actually working, I'm convinced that there is a way to mix these fields.
On my off-days, I've been photographing events around the city (performances, a friend's wedding here or there… you get the idea). I've recently been updating Raising Ladders Photography, and I think it's time to branch out a bit.
From a photojournalistic point of view, there's quite a few stories to be had within the fire service as a whole. Besides, from knowing a handful of people on this job, everyone loves pictures of themselves. I would get emails from guys in the Academy almost every weekend, asking if I could hurry up and post the pictures of them doing Academy stuff so they can show their friends and family.
"What'd you do at work today, honey?"
"Oh, nothing really…"
I'm thinking that I could turn this into a nice little portfolio gig. Whether firefighters want posed shots, candid shots of them drilling or on the scene, or even just technically accurate images of their firehouse/apparatus, I can provide them with that. Additionally, it would allow everyone to enjoy themselves at banquets, graduations, retirement dinners, company barbecues, etc. without having to worry about who's taking pictures of it all (Hint: people REALLY love it when you have a slideshow running somewhere of pictures as you're taking them. Yes, it's possible; it actually works really well for wedding receptions.)
Recruit Class 358 around the 9/11 Memorial at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Photographer ride-alongs strike me as the most exciting possibility, because then it's just a fast-paced, "run-and-gun" scenario (thanks to David Hobby of Strobist for the terminology; as a former Baltimore Sun staff photog with an awesome website, he really knows his stuff).
I suppose the only challenge now is contacting everyone with what I've been working on, and drumming up some business. So, readers, I entreat you: does this sound like something feasible? Leave some comments* if the idea strikes you as interesting, or if you have any suggestions for me!
* Seriously, what's with the lack of comments? Is everyone just here to shovel their faces with writing and skip out on the check? I know the posts aren't always great, but at least let me know what you think of 'em. Especially ones like this, where I'd really like to hear your input!