I had a crazy weekend with so many photo opportunities. On Friday, I had a few hours to kill after my classes and it was a wonderful day outside! I wandered around campus and just made pictures. I was feeling especially confident that day and did not get anxiety over asking for names or making people feel awkward because I was taking pictures of them. I wandered around to a few events on campus, such as the unity events that occurred in response to the cotton ball incident and a Bake-Off that was going on in Memorial Union.
As I was walking toward the law school, I saw a man doing construction on Rollins Road who had a huge, scraggly beard, wide-brimmed hat and unlit cigar in his mouth. I was incredibly amused by his appearance, and how he had a cigar in his mouth while he was working on a pothole in the street, so I stopped to take some pictures of him. He seemed unfazed by my presence and only mildly annoyed when I interrupted him to get his name. The interaction pleased me because it was such a simple thing, but it was so nice to take pictures of something that wasn't necessarily newsworthy, just photogenic.
One of my past staff members, Mike Ziegler, has been bugging me for some time to start up a photo blog on The Maneater's Web site. I was hesitant at first, as I often have a huge workload for my photographers and I didn't know if they would be interested in taking even more time to take pictures that weren't even assigned. I toyed around with the idea, but after shooting on Friday, I realized that I wanted to make the blog. I thought it would be beneficial for my photographers, encouraging them to just get out and take pictures for no particular reason, making them step outside their comfort zones and just make pictures of ordinary, everyday moments. Those "ordinary" moments are my favorite.
I made the blog. It's called "MU in Focus" and we have about five pictures on it now. I've been pitching some things specifically for the blog, but also plan to run outtakes of events covered for the print edition, pictures for stories that may have dropped, and just general things that someone may have captured. I'm nerdily excited about it, and it seems like my staff is too!
So, while Friday was a nice, busy day, Saturday was ridiculous. I woke up at 8 a.m. (god forbid a college student wake up early on the weekend!) and drove to Jefferson City with Tyler to take pictures and gather audio for One Shepherd. I was much more comfortable with the guys this time, as I met them last time I came out to take pictures, and this exercise was much more relaxed. They got excited with blanks and C0 bombs though, so my ears hurt by the time I had to go, but I did successfully interview the guys and gather audio for my EPJ class.
After shooting One Shepherd for a couple hours, I booked it back to Columbia to shoot the Kansas game. Now, I've complained about crowded games before, but this one was just ridiculous. I think every news outlet, except for The Missourian, had one of their credentials cut to make room for more AP photographers and Sports Illustrated. The influx of photographers unfamiliar with Mizzou Arena also caused problems with arranged seating (yes, someone took my spot again. This is old news by now), so that posed some problems, but I feel good about my shooting during the game, if not for the outcome. I got plenty of shots, regardless of being in the second row of photographers for the entire second half - enough to at least make an online slideshow!
I'm less upset about MU's loss this time. Tyler always reminds me that Kansas invented basketball; it's their game. OK, OK, you're right, Tyler! We may have beat KU last year, but I guess this year we just couldn't quite cut it. I mean, we do have a young team (yes, I'm going to make excuses for it!). I will keep praying for a miracle during the Big 12 Tournament (which starts today), but won't hold my breath for too long.
Speaking of the Big 12, guess what? This week and next week are just as busy as the last two. With the Big 12 going on and a potential NCAA tournament next week, my future is pretty uncertain. The Big 12 Tournament is at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, so we'll be driving up there everyday the MU advances. If they don't advance, we don't go! But we obviously won't know until they win or lose. I am only shooting Friday's potential game; Grant Hindsley is in charge of the rest. We'll find out about when and where the NCAA Tournament is on selection Sunday, if MU makes it.
Tonight, I'll be taking pictures of Obama! He'll be talking about health care in St. Louis, so a writer, Wes Duplantier, and I are going. I've heard it's a lot of hoopla and such, but I don't often cover political events (or have to dress up for events!), so I'm kind of excited. It's going to be a long night, but I hope it will be worth it. Look for a blog of tonight's events sometime this week, as well as a blog about my favorite chocolate chip cookies (I've been dying to make them again!).