Dean O'Brien's Blog

Day 9: Working at the Coventry Telegraph 14/4/11

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10am

First job today I am heading off with Crime Reporter Emma Stone to talk to Detective Inspector Ben West at Chace Avenue Police Station in Coventry.  It is for a forthcoming feature which discusses offender management.  As with Mary Griffin yesterday, Emma is another person who I know from twitter yet had never met face to face.  En route to the station I have to chance to talk to Emma about what kind of images she wants to compliment the article.  Once thats sorted it gives me a chance to ask more about being a reporter at the paper.  I want to try and see things through the journalists eyes as well.  Emma emphasises that this job is mostly about people skills.  You need to be able to get on with people from all walks of life.  Graduating from university herself, Emma understands the importance of me working at the paper and what I am trying to gain from it.

Being the Crime Reporter Emma also stresses that trust plays a major part.  She has built up a great rapport with the local Police and it is vital they know that they can trust her.  Its all about building bridges.  She understands that many Police officers may be a bit wary where the media are concerned but being a local paper I can see that the benefits are mutual for both parties.

As Emma interviews Ben I take candid shots of both subjects talking.  Nothing posed or cheesy.  These are more in a documentary style.  To go with the written piece.  I decided to shoot wide and then close in for a few head shots.  In most I keep Emma softly out of focus and Ben sharp as the main focal point point.  I take my time and try not to rush.  That method seems to work best I’m finding.

2pm

Busmans holiday I’m afraid.  Another job at Coventry University.  I have to go to the School of Art and Design to photograph Ann Muirhead (Head of Fashion) who is appealing for a sponsor to help with putting on the end of year fashion show.  Ideally, the images need to show Ann in the fashion studio surrounded by mannequins or material etc… To give a sense of the theme.

I arrive early and luckily the studio is nice and bright.  I go about organising elements to tell the story so to speak.  I want the image to be strong and tell the story by itself.  As well as mannequins I want to include scissors, material and other items associated with fashion and dress making.  I shoot wide to capture everything in the frame and give the images an arty feel.  The shoot goes well and I head back to process the images.

There may be those of you out there reading this wondering why I wanted to work at the Coventry Telegraph.  Let me tell you why.  I have always purchased the Coventry Telegraph on a daily basis for as long as I can remember. I always found local news more relevant to ‘me’ than anything else.  When I took up photography on a more serious level, I started sending in images to the ‘Readers Pictures’ section.  I remember that feeling of seeing my images in print for the very first time.  So naturally when my ‘Professional Experience’ module came up, this is where I wanted to come.

You can imagine how I feel now, actually out working for the paper and taking images on their behalf.  Seeing those images relating to real articles in the paper is quite surreal.  Todays paper saw me get the front page with two images to go with the headline ‘Teenager Knifed in Club Brawl’.  My hard work and committment is paying off in the best way possible.  By seeing my images printed for all to see.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

April 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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