Dean O'Brien's Blog

Day 4: Working at the Coventry Telegraph 7/4/11

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Its day 4 now and I am feeling a bit more confident.  The minute I arrive in the office I check the diary.  Any jobs allocated to the photographers normally have initials next to them to indicate who is doing what.


First job and I am out with Joe Bailey heading to Potters green in Coventry to photograph Matty Ellison who is running 15 marathons in 12 months to raise money to fight Huntingtons Disease.  The shoot obviously has to include a running type theme.  Joe goes outside and checks which direction the sun is coming from and sets up the shoot accordingly.  I assist Joe by holding the flash at an angle away from the subject.

Also in attendance is reporter Sam Dimmer who interviews the subject whilst we are there.  Sam takes all his notes in shorthand and it was a great opportunity to ask him more about this.  I have always been fascinated about shorthand and he gave me a great explanation of how it works.  This is the good thing about having professional experience at the paper.  It is giving me a greater insight into other areas of the job involved.


Next we head to the War memorial Park to photograph improvements which are underway at the tennis pavilion. This sounded like a straightforward shoot until we arrived there. We were tied up with red tape which meant that we had to wait for permission before being allowed to enter where the work was taking place. Then we needed to wait whilst hi-vis vests could be found for us to wear. A shoot that should have taken 10 minutes ended up taking half an hour.  I assist Joe again by holding the flash off camera using a flash cord.


We head to Coundon Court School where pupils are dressing up as characters from the Lion King to take part in the Young Entertainer contest.  As with many schools we have to sign in first at reception and get passes issued.  We then make our way to the


Our next job is at Pattison College in Stoke, Coventry.  We are here to photograph a party to celebrate the forthcoming Royal Wedding.  Upon arrival we meet Head teacher Mrs Elizabeth McConnell who very politely looks after us and takes us into the school.  This makes things easier as Elizabeth helped to organise the children into what Joe wanted.  A few different types of set up were used, both indoor and outdoor.  The outdoor shoot involved using a cardboard cut out of the couple which I supported from behind.  Joe decided to shoot without flash on this shoot as lighting was sufficient.

After all the shoots were completed we manage to grab some lunch before heading back to the office.  I managed to talk to Joe about working for the paper.  I had noticed that the photographer’s wore shirts, trousers and shoes rather than say jeans and trainers.  Joe explained that it was not compulsory to wear smart clothing but something that he felt more comfortable wearing in this type of job.  He went on to explain that as he is representing Trinity Mirror Group (who are the UK’s largest newspaper publishers) he wanted to give a good impression.  I had been wearing jeans and trainers for the first couple of days but decided to opt for the more smarter look.  It did make me feel better and obviously gives people a better first impression of you.

Pictures are uploaded tagged and edited before home time.  Another great days experience.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

April 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm

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