So I have recently had the pleasure of covering some professional sports in the past few months for United Press International. It has been quite a learning experience to say the least.
My first game was a Red Sox game back in September, and I was nervous as hell. Working for a newswire means they need the photos as the events unfold, because they are competing with all the other newswires covering the game. The trick, I was told, for baseball is to photograph the opening pitchers for each team, then file those photos from the photo pit. Then get shots of the game and file those as it goes on.
I was a nervous wreck the entire time. You see you have to stay in contact with the desk editor via instant messanger as you send the photos during the game. This desk editor, in my case, is a guy out on the West Coast and is a someone I had never met before who had never seen my photos before. I sent off the first two shots and send my first instant message to him to let him know. His reply "Your photos are too loose" (this is bad) and "Your captions need help" (really bad). I knew I was in for a long night.
Oh did I mention that this was also the night that David Ortiz broke the club record for home runs? Yeah because it was. I did manage to get a shot of him doing so, and it was very exciting to be a part of it, and to also be able to capture it from field level. The crowd went crazy and the Sox eventually beat the Twins. I spent a lot of time filing and worrying, but in the end it turned out okay. I remember sitting in the photo pit, when the game was over and I was just sort of sitting there with a dazed look on my face. This college aged woman leaned over the railing and yelled to me "Hey, cheer up! Your team won!"
I have since covered a few Celtics games and some Bruins games, and work with the same West Coast desk editor each time. We are now on good terms. He is still tears me apart if my captions are not absolutely perfect, but he does it because he cares....actually he does it so that I don't create more work for him. But whatever.
Here is a pic from the night of the record home run. I never even filed it (because I had a better one of him watching the ball go out of the park).