90ish days of summer
Two days later, I can now show you the photos I took for The Washington Post!
My supervisor Dee gave me permission to post my photos on Flickr and this blog (with some provisions). So, here are a few of my photos from Takoma Park’s 120th annual Independence Day parade. All photos are copyright 2009 by The Washington Post.
Although the governor, mayor, a Congressman and other local elected officials led the parade, it wasn’t at all a political event.
As I wrote/implied in an earlier blog entry, my experience with parades has consisted of the following:
- Firetrucks and bicycles riding around my neighborhood in suburban Houston, Texas
- The Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
- Tractors, old convertibles and wranglers on horses in Cimarron, N.M.
No homecoming parades. No MLK, Jr., Day parades. No Fourth of July parades.
So I didn’t know what to expect of Takoma Park’s parade, which is a continuation of what is believed to be one of the longest-running Independence Day celebrations on the east coast.
But I knew there would be Uncle Sam.
A few more things I need to throw out there before I conclude this blog entry:
First, it felt really good to be shooting for a publication and get a photo byline again. While I’d sometimes volunteered to shoot the occasional photo for The Columbia Missourian, that was mostly because I was already reporting on the story and figured I could take care of photos as well.
One thing I noticed in retrospect: Shooting for a publication and having a press ID badge definitely emboldened me. I say this as a good thing. Had I attended the parade and took photos on my own, I probably wouldn’t have tried as hard to get a variety of shots. But knowing I was on assignment and having a badge to show for it definitely made me want to work harder.
Also, in stark contrast to Missouri, I received not a single derogatory remark about “the liberal media.” After three years of reporting and photography experience in mid-Missouri, I’ve become grudgingly used to receiving nasty, undeserved comments about being part of the liberal media. (I say “undeserved” because I have never expressed my political beliefs in public and have always striven to be as objective as humanly possible.) Also, at conservative/Republican political rallies and other such events, it’s common for participants to refuse to give their names to photojournalists. When politely asked why, they will — nine times out of 10 — cite their contempt for the liberal media.
I asked Jeff if I should expect to get any of that while shooting a patriotic event in Maryland. He laughed and told me that you’re not allowed to run for office in Takoma Park unless you’re a Democrat. Sure enough, no one refused to give me their name, and no one made any dry remarks about the liberal media.
Finally, I have to say it: No, I didn’t get published in print.
But two of my photos did run in a washingtonpost.com gallery. So hey — that’s still completely legit. And this won’t be my last assignment, either.
I’ll leave you on that note of suspense. And, as always, you can view more photos HERE.