Today concludes the first week of my last year in college.
Because I don’t have a car (yet), all my assignments have been limited to wherever I can go on foot. I’m used to this — after all, how else did I manage while shooting as many as four assignments a day at The Maneater? Although I didn’t get to shoot the first day of school at various Columbia schools or Sen. Claire McCaskill’s health care town hall meeting in Jefferson City, I think I did all right for my first week on the job.
On my first shift, I ran to the scene of some breaking news. We’d heard something about a fatality over the police scanner, but when the reporter and I arrived, we saw it was a minor accident involving a bicyclist and motorist. The cyclist suffered only scrapes and bruises, which he shrugged off before explaining that he’d been hit by a school bus in the previous year.
That’s right. A school bus.
Call me sick, but I wish I’d been there to see that.
Although the accident was a minor one, it definitely spiced up my first shift as a Missourian photographer. As for the reporter, who was on her second day and second story at the paper, she learned that she had to be ready for anything that could happen on a given day. (Not that she was unprepared, though.)
The biggest lesson I learned? ENTERPRISE.
Due to some communication mishaps, today’s paper didn’t have any A1 visuals lined up. So yesterday when I had a half-hour left in my shift, one of the editors told me to skedaddle and do some enterprising. So I did, even though I knew that walking around and searching for photo material might prove completely unprofitable and would only further inflame the chronic pain in my left foot.
I got lucky with the first enterprise shoot I did. After I left the photo office, I headed downtown even though I knew there was very little if anything planned to be happening at that hour. But as I walked along Locust and crossed Ninth Street, I saw a trio of people carrying oddly-bundled instruments.
I paused. Then I decided to go for it.
“Hey, how are y’all doing?”
After they greeted me in return, I trotted alongside them and asked, “Mind if I follow you a little and take some photos?”
They were the Hooten Hallers, a local blues/country band that I’ve heard before in Speakers Circle. In fact, they had just performed there and were on their way to The Blue Fugue, which is where I followed them.
After I left the Fugue, I went on-campus to cover the Legion of Black Collegians‘ opening barbecue. As a former Maneater staffer, I’ve photographed many of the major campus organizations, including LBC. That said, I was almost wholly unprepared for the high-energy dance party going on in the main room of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center.
I returned to the photo office after taking a few more shots. I’d worked an hour overtime, was soaked to the skin (there was a gentle but steady rain after I left the Fugue) and felt relieved that my first stab at enterprising while on shift had been decent.
That last photo was today’s key A1 visual.
So yes. Enterprise is important. That’s what I learned this week.