Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A rewrite of yesterday's blog....

I'm afraid I came off a bit angry and negative yesterday--not my point. So consider this a do-over.

Some days, life as a photojournalist can get pretty challenging. It's not like I go into an office, punch the clock, have lunch at noon, and go home when the quittin' bell rings at the end of the day. When news happens, we need to be there to cover it, regardless of the time or circumstance. It's part of the excitement of doing what I do.

Like today.

I'm working my second double this week. I'm starting with a sleep deficit, have a headache, and am two and half hours from home. Our live shot isn't until after the Olympics at 11:30 pm, and we also have to do a hit for San Francisco. Then, I have to break down the shot, put the gear away, and drive the two and half hours back to the OC. So I'm guessing I won't get home until about 2:30 am, and then be up all bright and shiny the next morning (or rather, later that morning) to report for duty. Not an easy deal.

You say (if you read yesterday's blog!), "But I thought you were doing a story about water bottles?" Yeah. That's how the day started off. We had the story three-quarters of the way shot. We had fun with it.

And then, the dreaded phone call: "We're changing your story."

Sadly, a female whale trainer at Sea World Orlando was killed by a whale. What does that have to do with Los Angeles news? we asked. There's a Sea World in San Diego. So we had to drop our water bottle story (sales are down, did you know?) and head south. SD Sea World planned to close all of their Orca shows until further notice.

Mind you, it was one o'clock, and our newscast comes on at five. It would take us two hours to get there.

Our angle on the story was to find tourists who were in the San Diego park when
they closed the Shamu show. Luckily, we found a family visiting from Wisconsin who went to Sea World just to see the killer whales. While standing in line to get in, the announcement was made, and they didn't get to see the show. We ran across this family just as we parked at a nearby seaside amusement park--which helped immensely with our time crunch. Sometimes it's challenging to find people relevant to the story. Not today.

Next, we chose our live spot (Sea World wouldn't
let us onto their property), the reporter wrote the story, I edited the story, set up the live shot.... all the while with the clock ticking ever closer to four-thirty--our deadline for the five..

But we did it. As we always do.
A hit at 5. A hit at 6.

And then the phone call...

"We need you to stay and do a hit for the post-Olympic show at 11:30pm." Oy. I wanted to say, "Hell no!" but I didn't. This is my job. And even with the challenges, I love what I do.

In this line of work, you've got to keep things in perspective. It sucks working a double shift. It sucks having to make the drive home afterward. It's really going to suck getting up tomorrow morning. But I'm still alive. Unlike Dawn Brancheau, I will go home. She went into work this morning with no idea it would be her last. 

So really... who am I to complain about working a double shift? Would I want to be doing anything else? No.

Until tomorrow....

1 comment:

  1. Yep, gotta agree a double-shift is hard, but you'll live. Hope you get some shut-eye later.