So, as the other photographer working in the Prime Minister’s Office, how do you follow up after this? What’s the point, really?
I did want to go through the exercise, if only for my own personal benefit of reviewing my work and seeing how to improve for 2021, but I debated even publishing it, nevermind the fact that I’m also more than a month late on this, for various reasons…
The nature of my work does differ from Scotti’s a bit. While his job is to tell the story of the Prime Minister, mine is to back him up when needed, but when not, I try to tell the story of the government as a whole. There’s a lot of work to be done there, but well, 2020 happened.
As the year moved from crisis to crisis, Scotti had to take time off early in the year for a new mini-Scotti, giving me a few weeks following the Prime Minister around, soon after which the pandemic quickly took over our lives. Let’s just say that it became a lot harder to move from minister to minister and tell stories beyond outdoors announcements.
Thus, below is also a collection of 150+ images of my year. The selection is a mixture of storytelling and images I liked. A month late. Because COVID life… (Files are big, and it appears Medium doesn’t compress, so the load time might be long… Highly recommended on a computer, but lesson learned for next time).
As Scotti came back from parental leave, the new COVID reality was setting in. Though I tried to get back to the Ministers’ beat, things were already changing.
Things became a lot quieter for me once the parliamentary session was over. The summer became a mixture of outdoor announcements and whatever we could figure out to cover, safely. I could no longer do the close-up behind the scenes with ministers anymore.
My biggest challenge for 2020 has definitely been my kid’s return to virtual school in the fall. I owe infinite thanks to a flexible work organization that allowed me to find a new balance.
In terms of the details, gear, process stuff, Scotti covered most of it, and I work more or less the same way. I just like to use some different primes, like the 50mm 1.2, and I’m more of a fan of the 85mm 1.4 than the 135mm 2.0. I do like my battery grips on my 5D MKIVs though!
To Scotti’s endless amusement and mockery, I do like gear, and use various trinkets as well, like straps and attachments. I won’t go into details here, but chat me up if you want to talk gear.
One thing I somewhat miss in this COVID world is environmental portraiture. I did keep a few strobes from my previous job as a photojournalist, and early in the year, I tried to do a series of daily one light portraits to reintegrate that aspect into my work. It was, of course, too much, and it stopped quickly, but it is something I do intend to keep doing when the situation allows it again.
I have only been in this job for two years now. As I was finally finding the groove and confidence in it, things went sideways. But it was surreal when I started it, and it’s still surreal it’s happening. I’m not sure how I got here, but thanks to Scotti for seeing something, even though he’s loath to admit it (he’s not, Grumpy Old Men is just our thing). Thanks to Cameron for agreeing to giving me a chance and making me feel welcome. Thanks to Johanna and Riley for the proper moral support. Thanks to the Ministers for welcoming me into their teams to help tell their stories.