There’s alwasy been a certain divide – let’s call it competitive tension – between reporters and photographers. At the root of it all is the suggestion among those on the writing side that their photographic cousins are, well, not very bright.
Of course, like all such broad generalisations, when you scratch the surface of this claim it’s utter cobblers. Most photographers (often disparagingly referred to as “monkeys”) actually can write a 50 word caption and are properly house trained.
So, it’s easy to imagine how much this lack of professional respect rankles.
In fact, many photographers consider themselves artists and it is a real affront to their delicate temperaments to come under such attack. Particularly from a bunch of philistine, foot-in-door merchants, armed with notebooks and pencils (often disparagingly referred to as “blunts”), who wouldn’t know a good pic if it bit them.
This philosophical divide has taken on new urgency at Deadline Press & Picture Agency, where photographer Andrew Cowie has scored something of an own goal against his side. Andrew is an impeccably mannered young man who shows all the grooming one would expect of a former pupil of Glenalmond College, the terribly posh school, where the Old Boys like nothing better than saddling up for a spot of Chav Hunting.
Recently he was dispatched to Edinburgh Sheriff Court to join a colleague who was reporting on the latest instalment in the long running case of the Naked Rambler Stephen Gough. Andrew’s brief was to secure a “snatch” picture of the accused in the small window of opportunity between court building and prison van. So far, so straight forward.
However, hapless Andrew rather blotted the photographic copy book with his plaintive cry for help: “How will I know what this guy looks like?”
Despite the tittering and arched eyebrows among his cruel news reporting colleagues, the penny didn’t drop with baffled Andrew until he came up with the following picture:
Photographers – you’ll never get a better chance to even the score. If you want to regale me with tales that show the “stupid” ones are those with the notebooks, then simply leave a comment. Should that prove too taxing, ask a grown up to help you send me an email.