Dean O'Brien's Blog

Day 13: Working at the Coventry Telegraph 21/4/11

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I arrive today at the office and its manic.  A couple of photographer’s are off and jobs are coming in from all angles.  I speak with Steve Chilton and Joe Bailey to sort out where I am going.  Priority is obviously given to those jobs which are more urgent than others.


I head out with reporter Tina Junday to photograph Paul Seddon who is doing a Kilimanjaro climb in memory of relatives and Marie Cure Cancer.  Tina conducts the interview whilst I prepare my camera for the shoot.  Its a bright day but I’m still going to shoot using some fill-in flash.  As the images will be based around the climb I ask Paul to grab his boots and rucksack.  A two minute walk down the road and we find a grass covered hill with trees.  It’s hardly the Kilimanjaro but it creates a great background for the shoot.  I take a variety of shots and we move on to the next job.


We head straight to University Hospital in Coventry for yet more Easter egg deliveries for the children.  There are two separate shoots here so both sets of images need to be different.  For the first shoot I do a group shot outdoors in the children’s play area.  Not as easy as it sounds.  I stack up loads of Easter eggs which seem to be melting before my eyes.  Technically, there always seems to be someone blinking in the shot.  I have to keep checking the lcd on the camera which is also hard to see in the bright sunlight.  I have to keep taking the group shot till I get it nailed.  After about 7 attempts its there….just.  We move on…

Still at University Hospital and I’m onto another Easter egg shoot.  These eggs were donated by DHL.  I need the images from this shoot to be different from the one taken 15 minutes earlier.  I decide to shoot indoors.  I find some natural light coming in from a window behind me so stack the eggs on a desk.  Not too high, as I need a small group of people standing behind them.  Yet again, I have the same problem with people blinking or not looking at the camera.  I eventually get the shots I need and remember to get everyones name and age to go with the picture.  This needs to be added to the file info when I upload it onto the ‘picdar’ system.


I receive a phone call from Joe Bailey asking if I can get Tina to drop me off at the Council House.  I am to photograph former MP and City Councillor Dave Nellist.  A popular face in the city and someone who is no stranger to the media.  I head to the Council House reception and wait for Dave to meet me.  The purpose of the shoot is that Dave is putting forward the “no” argument to the question ‘Do we need a Royal family?’.  I need to take a portrait of Dave with the the Council House in the background.  I meet Dave and we head outside into the bright sunshine.  Unfortunately for Dave the sunshine is hitting him straight int he face causing him to squint.  I turn him 90 degrees and this creates for a more pleasant shoot.  Any shadows are filled in using flash.  I’m a lot more confident shooting solo portraits and this shoot goes well.  We shake hands and I head back to the office grabbing a sandwich en route.


I am heading to this job with Cameron who is on work experience as a reporter at the paper.  He will conduct the interview whilst I take the images.  As transport is in short supply we get dropped off at the address by photographer Lee Busby.  I am shooting a ‘Your Life’ spread for the paper.  This is based around people showing what they like and dislike about their area.  This is an important job as it is normally a two page spread and last time I had six images printed.  It is a great chance for me to get a large amount of images printed in one go.  I accompany the resident area the area and to some allotments which provide me with some ample shooting opportunities.

Earlier today I had the chance to talk a bit more in depth with Tina Junday about the job.  Tina expressed the importance of being professional at all times.  When out on jobs its important to be professional and not to let any personal problems show or get in the way.  Tina takes her job very seriously and expects those around her to be as equally committed.  Representing a paper such as the Coventry Telegraph does seem to command that kind of respect from its employees.

In todays paper I managed to get a large colour image printed showing the demonstration outside the Council House.  Another page for my growing portfolio…


Written by Dean O'Brien

April 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

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