Introduction to Roger Jeakings:
How does a professional combat photojournalist see the world of photography? This was the question we asked Roger Jeakings, combat veteran, tutor and author with more than 20 years of front-line experience to tell us. Roger has an enterprising communication style all of his own and the one thing he promises you is his thoughts and ideas wonâ€™t be boring. This article is the first of series designed to bring the professional and amateur photographer closer together. Note: This is an extract only. You will need to subscribe to the tutorials in order to see anything after this extract. You can subscribe at the bottom of the extract
The Professional Touch.
When Ray asked me to contribute to his website I wondered if he had grabbed the tiger by the tail. What could I bring to the table and more importantly what gems of information would stimulate and inspire his many readers? That was the burning question racing through my mind. As professional communicator, how could I provide interesting information presented in a user-friendly way that entertains, resonates and more importantly â€˜sticks?â€™
Professional image makers are a funny old lot; itâ€™s true. Most of us bumped into the profession quite by chance. I got plucked out of a settled military position and was told not to volunteer because I had been already appointed as one of several new military photojournalists to be assigned to cover and record active combat duty. â€˜Put away the rifle and bayonet,â€™ they said. â€˜Pick up a camera and lens and keep shooting!â€™
My training began at 0800 hours the next morning. I was sent, or more precisely dispatched, to image-making institutions in and around the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington, to learn the vision craft. This included attachments to leading TV, film studios and newspaper organizations. My knowledge of the illustration industry at that time could have been written on the back of a postage stamp. I was heading into survival mode.
Survival is the first perquisite of a professional photojournalist. You have to be highly resourceful and use every inch of field craft one can muster. What does that really mean when itâ€™s all boiled down? In my case, study with all the other professionals in the one of the cityâ€™s secluded back bars. It cost me a small fortune covering the drinks of those who held my photographic fortune in the palms of their hands. Another vital lesson learned during my basic training; one has to be a polished communicator, both verbally and visually. Thatâ€™s a vital survival component. Another is look totally helpless at all times. That came quite easily. End of extract… This is where you’ll find the tutorial subscription page.