July 2000
Boise, ID


I walked into work the next day feeling pretty good. With an extra little swagger in my step. I am sure many photojournalists have been through the same ego-boosting emotions after taking a particularly nice, unusual, unique photograph that would be played prominently in the next day's newspaper. People pat you on the back, you hear that the managing editor laughed out loud at the photo in the 4 p.m. news meeting, and you come in the next day feeling confident and accomplished.

I was no different. I felt pretty good. I expected to hear some more comments about the photograph that day in the newsroom. Well, it didn't happen. I hoped for my skills to be validated once again by my colleagues in the newsroom, but the writers were working on the next day's stories, the photographers were working on the next day's photographs, and the editors are worrying about what is to come after the next day's paper. No one really remembers, no one really cares about what you did yesterday. There is a paper to put out tomorrow and many days following. All the energy is focused on the next news item, no time to dwell and reflect about yesterday's accomplishments. 

This was of the first things I learned about daily newspaper work while interning at the Idaho Statesman in Boise. Its a different work from freelancing, when I often have the time to devote more of it to a particular assignment. Our jobs are really about attrition, about cranking out a quality product day after day after day. That is definitely a challenge and I admire those who can run that marathon year after year. Consistency is a necessity, because for five days a week you will be shooting for the next day's paper that should be at least as good as the previous days.

It was a good lesson. I can't rest on my laurels, and be satisfied with what I did yesterday or the day before or last week. As good as it feels to come back to the office with good pictures, it only lasts for that day. Come the next day, we do it all over again and work for the best possible results.

As an intern, I don't usually get the most sought-after assignments. Did they send me up north for three days to cover a wildfire? Nah. Did they assign me to cover the USA Baseball team's pre-olympic game in town? Nope. And I don't expect them to. I get the county fairs, the weather features, the 'pre-pub' assignments. But I don't mind it at all, I enjoy shooting the mundane and usual, in hopes of getting something different and showing people something they have not seen before. Luckily for me, the newspaper is receptive of different kinds of photographs. I am just happy to be here, working at a real newspaper, treated like a real photographer, getting some real good experience.

Joe Jaszewski

Contents Page

Contents Page Editorials The Platypus Links Copyright
Portfolios Camera Corner War Stories  Dirck's Gallery Comments
Issue Archives Columns Forums Mailing List E-mail Us
 This site is sponsored and powered by Hewlett Packard