Making my own fun

Editors often like to remind photographers, “not every assignment can be a fun assignment.” I always find that amusing, because no one realizes this more than a photographer. In fact, “fun” assignments can seem few and far between many times.

Just above ribbon cuttings and press conferences come photo assignments where you are forced to shoot while the subject is being interviewed. I dread these assignments because the situation is so contrived and I often end up with a simple, tight head shot of the subject. The possibilities are pretty limited and I certainly wouldn’t call them “fun assignments”, but you always have to keep an open mind. I try to remind myself that while I might not come away with a portfolio image, it’s a worthy challenge to find the most visually interesting angle nonetheless.

After arriving at the home of Chicago Children’s Choir Director Josephine Lee the other day, my hopes were immediately elevated. Lee’s home had a huge wall of frosted windows letting in amazing light. I spent more time silhouetting Lee in her living room during the interview than actually getting a photo of what she looks like!

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