March 4, 2016

Where to even begin?

I’m at work right now as a photojournalist for the biggest newspaper in the state, at the height of my abilities and with the best technology and equipment, and my biggest concern is where to be prop up my iPad so I can watch a movie in my car.

I heard a quote today on the LPV Show podcast that was right on target for my current situation:

“Survival isn’t just having money. Survival is psychological and feeling like what you’re doing is valued.”

That quote is by either Susan Meiselas or Kristen Lubben.

Further, “You’re in a place and you’re motivated and you can reach out.”

Yeah, that is very difficult right now.

I remember seeing people who were burned out and not comprehending how they got to such a place. I still don’t, really.

I’m not burned out on the job, or the work, or the process. It’s two things killing me off.

1. A complete lack of feedback. From the main client, from the audience, from friends, from family.

2. I forgot what number 2 is, because just typing number 1 takes so much energy.


Maybe number 2 was some kind of reference to the current state of hate and distrust and loathing directed toward journalists and photographers from the public.

I photographed a rally against police brutality this week and the largest cheering and applause came after an activist (with a gun strapped to her hip (and this was a left-wing rally)) said, “Don’t put me on your cameras, all you media who spend so much air time de-humanizing us!”

That got the loudest response, never mind the fact that a protest rally is an event specifically constructed for cameras. Without the recording of such an event, it might as well have never taken place. Because even if you activists of any stripe think that you’re your own media, you are only reaching people who believe the same thing as you – people who’ve subscribed/followed your feeds or joined your cause. My photos hit a diverse (though shrinking) audience.

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