I’m officially in Freelance World now. I have to say, it’s not bad so far, and REALLY not bad for a summer gig. I still need a second job to supplement the work I’m doing for the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, but mostly I’m just glad I don’t have to put journalism on the back burner for four months. Hooray!
I tend to take it for granted that everybody knows about Martha’s Vineyard, but then, I don’t know how much press it gets outside of New England. It’s an island off the coast of Cape Cod, sort of near Nantucket (which is smaller and farther offshore). There are about 15,000 people who live here year-round—and about 100,000 who live here in the summer. Quite the increase (my aunt and uncle, who I’m staying with, are some of the year-rounders).
The Vineyard is also, like Columbia, a place with two competing newspapers. Both are weekly (the Gazette just switched to biweekly for its summer schedule). Both are very old-school (no AP style!). In addition to those two factors (which, coming from the Missourian, is a little surreal to me), the Gazette publishes exclusively in black and white. It also publishes in broadsheet, so a copy of the Gazette is six inches wider than your average copy of the New York Times (I measured).
From a photography standpoint, that latter point is perhaps the greatest thing ever. I LOVE how big the photos are run. I love that there are no teeny mug shots. I’ve always known this about the paper (I actually profiled the Gazette during my Picture Editing class and learned allll about their visual policies), but it’s one thing to know it and a whole other thing to see your own work in giant form.
This is the Lifestyles section of the Friday paper, which is running six (SIX! How is such a thing even possible?) of the photos I took during various ballet rehearsals over the past couple of days. That lead photo is 4×9 (again, I measured)! INSANE! In. Sane. It makes me want make better photos, which is always a good thing.
I’m also doing some writing as part of the job, since the staff’s not big enough to send a photographer and a reporter to every event. The articles (so far) aren’t particularly long ones—500 words or so, and it’s all been straight event coverage, which is in many ways less stressful than other types of news reporting. So that’s nice. The first of these assignments (which was also my first assignment, period), was a Memorial Day parade.
Making this job a little more interesting, I’m working without the benefit of a staff locker, which means that right now I’m working with my baby RebelXT (I’m supposed to be getting a 7D as a graduation present, but that’s been a little slow coming), and the three lenses I own. I just ordered a 17-40mm, which is going to make things a lot easier when I’m indoors (the 18-55 kit lens I’ve been using forever is finally starting to show signs of age, and refuses to autofocus). My 50mm, meanwhile, has been a real workhorse. I would be completely lost without it.
I can’t wait to get that second camera, though—then I can have TWO bodies, and I can finally push the ISO past 400 without having to worry about signs of grain. It will be amazing.
So that’s what’s been happening here in New England…I’m way behind on blogging, but am going to try very hard to post something every other day or so. Happy summer!