I can’t believe it’s already March. I feel like last week I was just blogging about what to buy photographers for the holidays. Time goes by so quickly when you’re busy all the time. I think Baltimore might be thawing out soon (the temperature is creeping up into the forties next week) which is fantastic news because I’ve been dying to get my creativity on. I can be creative in winter time too but honestly, I really hate the cold.
I figured I’d update you guys on what type of assignments I’ve been doing since I last posted my journalism work a few weeks ago and what they’ve taught me because they always teach me something.
First up, the Cupid Run. Ahhh the Cupid Run. This was a really fun assignment. People ran around downtown for one mile in their underwear in the freezing cold. The run is actually a charity that sheds light and donations on a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis (NF). NF causes tumor to grow all over the nervous system and can cause blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain. The feeling of numbing cold is supposed to mimic that feeling of NF. For this I used a 16-35mm lens. I was happy with the turnout of this set, I even made print so that’s always a nice thing! This assignment taught me to try new angles. I usually shoot low and wide but for a lot of my shots here I was standing above people, position on top of a fountain. I need to try some more variety.
That same night I was also set to photograph the Mardi Gras parade at Power Plant Live! because apparently every year they have one. Fire breathers, people on stilts, the works. I got there at 9:30 in the middle of a snowstorm and the bartender told me that people *might* get there around 11. After awkwardly pacing around for two hours (that place is not my scene) I was about to give up until a friend told me there was this traveling band from NYC walking in and out of bars. Following them was great because I found an aerialist who was doing some pretty awesome moves. Patience, patience and you will find the good subjects. This assignment definitely taught me to take a few minutes (well, in this case hours) to wait for the action to happen. Don’t tap out too early, you might miss it.
The next weekend was also a snowy mess. I was supposed to shoot some artist thing but it was cancelled. Instead I was assigned “snowstorm photos”. Luckily I live in the city and Patterson Park is only about five blocks from my house. I strapped on my boots (just kidding, they don’t strap), zipped up my ski gear, and shuffled my way to the park. It also helps that there is a bar right down the street from my house that I was able to pop into to get a coffee with a few shots of whiskey to keep myself warm – it’s what any logical photojournalist would do in extreme cold, right? I was pretty lucky because Patterson Park is a famous spot for sledding kids and families. I even found a man snowboarding down the hill. Lots of nice folk who let me photograph them digging out and cleaning off their cars, it was surprising really since most of them were in pajamas. The day after this assignment I went back out for a follow up, or aftermath, of the storm and life was pretty much back to normal. This assignment taught me that I need to start shooting with longer glass. The 16-35mm is my holy grail of a lens but I definitely need to get that tight compression in my portfolio and photo stories like I get with the 70-200mm.
My latest assignment was a really fun one. I got to accompany my friend and fellow BSun person Wesley Case on an assignment where I pretty much just visually documented Wesley’s first time at the casino, sans Wesley in the photos. It was challenging at first because I’ve never been to a casino. It was pretty slow and since I had a PR man tailing me the whole time so I didn’t photograph any of the games there wasn’t much else I could do. Things started to pick up at their main bar and I was able to get some people dancing and such. I was a bit nervous my photos wouldn’t match up with Wesley’s story even though I was following him but they ended up complementing each other very well. I tried not to think too hard into it, I just shot what I saw and how I saw it. Apparently, he saw things the same way I did. I got the cover of WKND in the Friday paper and I also got a inch tall little sliver on the front page (hey, it’s something!) This assignment taught me to be a bit more relaxed and not so stressed about “getting the shot”. Just document what you see and how you see it and the story will come out.
That’s my assignment roundup! Hope you guys have been enjoying my photos. To see the rest of the photos for each gallery, simply search “Kaitlin Newman” on the Baltimore Sun’s website and click “photos”.