By Jim Urquhart
I am not a star stalker nor am I a paparazzi. I am just a screaming photojournalist and the Angry Birds Champion of the World!
I was recently given the opportunity to work with Reuters’ photojournalists Lucas Jackson and Mario Anzuoni as part of the photo team covering the Sundance Film Festival. This was my second year covering the event, which is more like a triathlon in terms of photo work. The days can be long, you have to use different photographic skill sets and there’s a bit of competition for pictures.
It is the one assignment a year like it for me. I mainly cover breaking news, features and sports. I know nothing about celebrity or entertainment news. But for some reason this doesn’t deter the editors from throwing me in to it. Luckily Mario and Lucas know what they are doing.
To overcome my lack of knowledge for the beat I have developed a very simple two part plan. First make features and art when I am out on my own and try to justify my pay that way. Secondly, watch for where all the other photographers are, chase them when they get excited about something, shoot who they are shooting and ask who it was after the action has subsided.
But maybe my lack of knowledge of the beat is what really works for me. Trent Nelson, a very respected and knowledgeable photojournalist I have worked with many times once discussed how his lack of sports knowledge and not being a fan of sports may actually make him a better shooter of sports since he has nothing to cheer for. Instead he observes and makes art. He watches the scene unfold around him and makes sports beautiful by tuning out the noise.