I think the appropriate word to describe today’s homecoming from the ACP/CMA Convention would be “downer.” Not that I’m not thrilled to be back in my own bed, but coming back from three days of high-minded reflection about the rewards and challenges of photojournalism to the minutiae and stress of actually trying to put images in the paper is a little bit jarring.
I filled my weekends with sessions devoted to photography. I tried to branch out, go to some sessions on writing, broadcast, and other lessons from the industry, but invariably they would be cancelled. And by cancelled, I mean I would wait in a room for 15 minutes until a general consensus was reached that no one would be coming to speak to us. This was the most frustrating part of my experience. And not all of the PJ sessions were as helpful as I wanted them to be, some were redundant, some entry-level, but taken together they gave me a pretty good impression of what I knew and what I still needed to learn –especially the latter.
My biggest take-away from this weekend was how hard good photojournalism is, but also how worthwhile. It’s going to take more work on my part, and the part of the staff photographers, to realize the goals I have for our paper, but I really think we’re up for the challenge.