January 11, 2013

What's in Store?

I don't fully know what is going to happen in 2013.

If I had the answer I probably wouldn't be writing my blog sitting on a giant exercise ball in my basement.  Something tells me I might not even have a blog at all.  One thing I do know is that it's going to be time to start looking to get back into the work force.

My final day full time with James Ford and Jon Fine
Before I was a stay at home dad, I was an Emmy nominated News Photographer for a TV station in New York City.  It was a pretty good job with a lot of cool perks.  I got to see a lot of stuff that the average person never gets to see.  Unfortunately there was a lot of stuff that the average person WOULDN'T want to see either.  For every cool new roller coaster or hot air ballon I got to ride, I also saw my fair share of death.

I can remember one of my first days working in TV news at a station in Elmira, New York.  I was sent to a drowning in a rural town nearby with my (not at the time) wife.  A kid had jumped in the river behind his house with his friends and never resurfaced.  When the firefighters discovered him and pulled him out, it was the first time that I had ever seen a dead body.  You wanted to look away, but it was something you couldn't take your eyes off of.

While it certainly isn't normal to see a lifeless person everyday at work, it seemed all to common.

I can remember walking up to a murder scene in South Carolina once and asking the cops where it happened.  They sent me out in the back of the mans house in some ungodly remote part of the state where surprisingly "nothing like this ever happens." After surveying the scene and getting all the crucial b-roll, I looked down and realized that the dead man was no farther than two feet from where I was standing the whole time. You would think that I would jump, but sadly when you work in TV something like that just seems normal.

I won't get into the time I saw a completely burned body at a fire scene in Newark, NJ.  I think you get the idea by now that there is a lot of crap that you just don't want to see in your life, and unfortunately I saw way too much of it.

So I am not so sure I want to completely get back into what I was doing before.  It's not the same business that I first started out in.  Don't get me wrong there is an excitement level that can't be beat about working in TV News, but there is also way too much crap to deal with.  Chasing ambulances, chasing storms, and chasing those never ending leads... it's always a hurry up and wait.

So, what's in store for 2013? I don't know.  I would think there are better jobs than being a news photographer, but sometimes you get sucked back in.

More to come...

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?



  1. I once dreamed of being a photojournalist for a newspaper. The "bad" far outweighed the potential good, so I never seriously pursued it.

  2. A lot of people get pissed at the media for their seemingly non caring way they go about things, but if they really knew what the job entailed they might understand is a little better.

  3. Good luck with all your pursuits in 2013...whatever they might ultimately be. And keep up all the great work. I am sort of in the same position. As a father and husband, and parent in general, it is a constant juggling act to figure out the best way to prioritize your family's lifestyle, income, safety, comfort, quality of life, etc. You just have to go with your gut and roll it. Take care!

  4. I would think that at some point you would get desensitized to death. Something that I really don't think I could ever, or would ever want to do. Although, seeing that much bad, must make you appreciate all that you have that much more.

  5. I have a buddy who was a local tv station - reporter in the field - for several years. He was good at it but I always thought about how mundane that would be. Reporting from storm scenes, apartment fires, etc. Sounds like yours was a bit of a different animal, but I am sure that some of it crossed over.

    Good luck with whatever comes in 2013.