I don't know about you, but my bills don't pay themselves. I suppose with the invention of autopay, the argument could be made that they do... but the money has to come from somewhere, right?
I push buttons like "zoom", "white balance", "focus", and everyone's favorite, "record" to make my money. It's a decent gig and you get to go to cool places and meet cool people sometimes, but it's not always as glamorous as it may seem.
That was my plight this morning. Now, this wasn't exactly pistols at dawn, but these rough necks had been partying all night and had just enough sauce in them to pop off a couple of shots at each other before the sun came up. No one would say why, just that they'd had a "disagreement".
Said shooting happened less than a mile from my TV station, and I arrived before the bodies had even hit the floor.
I was on scene and rolling video before the cops had put the caution tape up and as the victims were being loaded in to the ambulances. I kept a respectful distance and utilized my 250X zoom to make up for not being right on top of the action.
"DO YOU HAVE TO BE HERE RIGHT NOW?"
Now the picture is a little grainy, but that's him on the left being questioned by one of Charlotte's finest. It would appear that this pistol duel took place in his fine abode. He's the homeowner of the casa where this whole shindig took place.
So it would stand to reason that he wouldn't want his house plastered all over the airwaves as a developing crime scene this morning. I can get that. I respect it. But what this jackhole failed to realize is that my camera was no where near his house.
It was focused on the lights of the cop cars and ambulances and was waiting patiently for the individuals with fading pulses to be loaded into the back of aforementioned ambulances. I wasn't trying to interview anyone and I was a considerable distance from the scene.
Two people just shot each other and seriously injured themselves in your home, don't you have bigger problems than little ol' me?
I ignored his first inquiry, and so he elevated his volume. Again the brash voice beckoned: "HEY! HEY! DO YOU HAVE TO BE HERE DOING THIS?"
One of the first lessons I learned in cameraman school is that the camera itself is your best insurance policy. You NEVER stop rolling in situations like this because you never know what could unfold.
So I did what any seasoned photog would do when being harassed by a looky loo, I pointed the camera right at him and said: "I'm sorry, what's that?" He tried to dodge my lens and mumbled something again about me being there.
Long story short: I politely replied "Hey man, I'm just doing my job. Got to keep the lights on somehow." What I didn't expect was the total change in demeanor big hefty displayed when that soft retort escaped my lips. I'm used to continued harassment from the masses when I'm in the ghetto, taking in a sunrise over the yellow caution tape.
So the moral of this story is... whatever your chosen profession, kill them with kindness. You can view the story here. That's all.