1.07.2008

Babies and Guns: My First Day at the Deseret Morning News

I stepped off the cold downtown street and into the glass doors of the Deseret Morning News building, thankful for our knack for climate-controlled rooms. Onto the elevator I went to the fourth floor to tell them I had arrived. It was 10 o'clock. I scrutinized the awards hanging in the reception area for a couple minutes before my photo editor briskly walked toward me with a woman at his side. The reason she had accompanied him, I quickly found out, was that I had an 11 o'clock assignment with the reporter, who was writing a story about some sort of advanced fetal surgery conference.

In the next half hour before the assignment, my editor lead me around as he multi-tasked like none other. I was relieved when he gave me professional equipment since I had to recently give up the lenses I had borrowed from my school for the past year. I grabbed my gear and made it quickly to my car, arriving somewhere between a walk and a run. I would later find out that the $4/hour parking that I paid would soon be $10/month with validation. Deciphering the odd block system I made my way to 1130 E 3900 S for a press conference on a new fetal surgeries to adjust the amniotic fluid in the womb. I spent an hour trying to find some authentic moments as the 5 TV cameras around the room posed the mothers and babies for emotional draw to the 6 o'clock news.

When I made it back to the paper, I underwent the necessary torture of filling out loads of paper work, wondering which parts I really needed to fill out and which I could slide by. I got the run down on the work flow at the paper, which always seems to be minutely different at every paper I've worked at, enough to make it so you have to learn it all over again. Then, the night photo editor came in and asked what I was doing, suggesting to send me out on a news assignment. Of course, I was eager to shoot.

A man threatened to blow up his house and kill any cop who approached him, so the SWAT team was called out for a good ol' standoff. So I grabbed an enormous lens and headed out to stand in the below freezing temperatures in my less than adequate attire for an hour and a half. Even with my long lens I could only make out the guys with guns as tiny figures. I never though that someone would need a lens longer than 400mm, but this made me wish for a 1200 with a 2x extender.

My feet and hands gradually became numb as the twilight approached, but the anticipation of a house blowing up made it all worth it. Maybe the fire would warm my feet, I thought. But for the sake of the general love of people, the man was safely escorted out of the house by tear gas and Tasers.

I rushed to my car, turned on the heat full blast at my feet and sighed a happy sigh.

As I drove back to the office I found a street spot close to the building to protect my poor southern feet from the gristly snow and ice. I turned in a couple photos and boarded the elevator at 7 o'clock for my trip down six floors. A sweet scent creeped up my nose, reminiscent of Florida oranges. I ran my finger across the shiny wooden panes inside the elevator, feeling an oily residue. I put my nose closer for a big, refreshing whiff. Someone had prepared the elevator to perk up the morning journalists for a new day.


4 comments:

Luanne Dietz said...

O Mr. your so poetic;) I can't wait to see what comes from your stint out there. YAY. Way to start off ont he right frozen foot;)

Tom McCarthy said...

Getting right to work on your first day. Looks like this'll be a good internship.

Morgan said...

Sweet writing and photos man. Welcome out west.

Melvin said...

Awesome picture....
I like this blog....
thanks a lot...

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Melvin
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