Red tape and the public pool
I’ve been trying to make this type of image at Rehm Pool in Oak Park for two years. It’s a very simple image to make, one that probably most photojournalists have succumbed to shooting at least once in their career, but getting access here was trickier than I ever dreamed it would be.
I shot this from the lowest level of three tiers of high dives at the pool. It overlooks a diving board about 15 feet below. I tried to get pre-approval to shoot from there last year, but there was some sort of hangup. Insurance reasons or something as I recall. Anyway, I just stopped by the pool last Tuesday on a whim and essentially talked my way past the front gate despite a few manager types stopping me to ask a variety of questions. Once I got past that, I figured what the heck, let’s give it a try and simply climbed up the ladder and began shooting photos of kids leaping into the pool below.
Lasted about four minutes before a teenager working at the pool came up and told me I wasn’t allowed to be up there without the presence of a lifeguard. So that was that, but not before I shot this photo of Spencer Smith, 11, half way through a flip.