So last week, I participated in UIL State for swimming (which was really fun!). It was a two day event, lasting 7 hours each day; I walked into the swimming center with the hot sun on my back, yet I walked out to meet a dark landscape, with only a gentle breeze and the lights of all those buses to greet me. During the meet, I met a cool guy named Braden (I think that’s how you spell it?). He is the head of photography for our school’s yearbook this year. He stayed with us for the entire two days, taking pictures of us swimmers. I talked to him a bit and got to know him.
I always think that what I do is the hardest, but every time I meet someone new, I’m just as impressed on their commitment (if not more), even if it isn’t something that I would’ve liked to have done.
Braden (he’s a senior now) had, over the years, traveled to many cities around Texas in order to take pictures — for our school yearbook. He’s traveled by himself to Dallas, Houston and College Station just to take pictures for our school’s athletic teams. That is something I would never would have wanted to do. I thought my commitment was rough, but when I asked about how many hours he put into yearbook, “Roughly 30 hours a week?” “Yeah, around 30 a week. Now that soccer season is about to start, it’s going to be tough”
It’s a pretty lonely job I think, as a photographer. Not officially part of my swim team, he just floated around the pool, taking pictures and pausing once in a while to check his phone. Not many people to talk to, especially if you’re really shy, and it just feels that you don’t really belong. But the feeling you get is awesome. The feeling that you are part of an exclusive group, a group that is allowed to go on the deck of the swimming pool to allow for a better picture taking angle. That feeling is always nice.
But that’s just me, he definitely likes it, otherwise he wouldn’t do it :)
It made me think: As a journalist/photographer, you are only a witness to other people’s achievements, yet you never get any of their accolades or recognition. I asked him about that subject and he replied to me: “Well, you’ll see my name next to almost all the pictures on the yearbook.” But no one will pay much attention to that. They might see the name and think “hey I know that guy” or “that name looks familiar,” but they will never know that face or their actual accomplishment. — It’s like when I read the newspaper, I never really remember the journalists name, but their subject they talk about ::: excellent recall.
Celebrities, athletes (like me), and politicians (they’re a totally different category) truly depend on these journalists to cover what they accomplish, or else, no one will know who did what. But for something as dependent on that, we don’t give enough credit to the people recording these feats.
It’s like the old saying that goes: if a tree falls down in the middle of the forest and no one witnessed it, did it ever actually happen?
In this society, there are people who are willing to wait in the forest, spending hours patiently waiting with camera and pen in hand, ready to capture the moment in its entirety.
We should all thank them for their commitment and dedication.