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.) 


DSC_9269 8x10 color
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!


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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Two Attitudes. | Raising Ladders
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[…] I know, I’ve held off on posting for a long time due to the social media policy our administration was holding people to. It was a difficult road to navigate—but I realized […]
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Boa doesn't make the boots, they designed and license the lacing system. The Boa system has been around for a while now, it's pretty common on snowboard boots and some other sporting footwear. The boots are from Blauer, which is based in Boston.
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Gear Review: Blauer’s new tactical boots
Interesting that BOA is from my home town of Steamboat Springs, and they didn't approach our Fire Department to do a field test or even let us know that they were working on a duty boot. Small towns are funny sometimes. Captain Scott Hetrick Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue
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stephen miller
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Great job, brethren ... be bald (bold) even off the fire ground.
2014-02-22 09:33:24
John Struve
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
As I read all the above I wondered "How does it work?" Are fire personnel asking for pledges from the public to be paid to this charity when the personnel have their heads shaved? The ad above was not clear to me. I will read it again. The charity is certainly a very worthwhile cause.…
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"For anyone who ever wanted to grow up and become a firefighter... from someone who did just that."
August 2009
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