Friday, November 07, 2003

PJ is an unpredictable profession

This is a strange job. Yesterday posed an odd set of assignments. The weather changed dramatically from summer to fall in one wet, miserable day. I had assignments to shoot a cross country runner (outside in rain), then a football practice (outside in rain -- thankfully no mud), and finish with the Fort Worth Opera (inside with ... opera folk). What was the opera about? Child abuse.

Miss Jessel, played by Jennifer Kethley, (top) tries to trap Flora, played by Sarah Tannehill, (bottom) during a dress rehearsal of the Fort Worth Opera's performance of "The Turn of the Screw" at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth on Wednesday, November 5, 2003.

Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

My most bizarre set to date was going from a 2nd grade invention day to a double homicide (execution style) then to a restaurant review (a steak looks completely different under these circumstances).

On the morning of Sept. 11, it was ominous to make a portrait of the children's hospital head of prosthesis. At the time, I only knew something horrible had happened and I was arranging child-sized arms and legs on a workbench behind a smiling doctor to go with a fluffy story about the future of his business.

At the same moment, we didn't know the future of any business or what the hell was happening anywhere. It was simply too surreal.

Also on Sept. 11, Mona Reeder was on vacation in Florida. She became stranded when the air traffic was stopped and all the things she went to enjoy were closed. Instead, she was reactivated and told to rent a car to photograph a (now infamous) aviation school for deadline while Damon Winter and Barbara Davidson raced up to New York in separate cars. Evans Caglage was already there covering Fashion Week down the street from the World Trade Center.

Such is the life of a photojournalist. If you think you know how your day will go, think again.

Enough for now,

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