MAY 29, 2014
Being a news photographer carries a lot of tough moments, as evidenced this week, when every day I’ve had to cover an horrific crime. BUT… there are great things too, like meeting new people I otherwise never would have come across. Conversations with strangers simply make a day happier, and that’s the point of the 100 Happy Days, right?
Today I met Wilton.
Wilton oozed charisma, but not in a cheesy way. I had just finished setting a scrim and light for our live shot when he walked up and politely asked me questions about lighting, and if a powerful light truly made a difference in a picture. I explained to him the importance of evening things out, of getting rid of ugly shadows, thus the scrim.
He’s been trying to get a good headshot, but hasn’t been happy with any of the pictures his friends have taken (with their iPhones!!), so asked me for tips on how to get a better one. This guy was so polite, and had such an infectious smile, I offered to shoot a few for him since I had my DSLR with a 70-200 lens in the van.
The most challenging part came getting a serious shot since his natural expression is that fantastically infectious smile. We did get one, though!
Talking and laughing with Wilton made the day much easier, and it was a tough one. We were in court covering the arraignment of a woman who killed her three kids, aged 2 months, 1 year, and 2 years old, likely due to post-partum depression. Her husband and mother, who were both home at the time, were in court as well, and in full support. Watching their pain wasn’t easy. When I finished editing our story, I felt pretty emotional.
And then Wilton walked up.
His beaming smile brought just the right amount of light to my day. I’m so glad that instead of ignoring him while I worked, I looked up, made eye contact, and engaged him in conversation. Moments like this surround us all of the time, we simply need to open ourselves to them, to occasionally let a stranger into your life, if only for a brief fragment of time, to share a happy moment.