Lyn Macdonald – Life of a photographer (part one)

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October 27th 2014

A few months ago I read the results of a survey measuring job happiness and being a photographer came 3rd. I think it should be top.

I don’t work for fancy-dancy big newspapers, just three little local ones ā€“ the Buckie Squeak (Banffshire Advertiser), the Two-Minute Silence (the Banffshire Herald) and the Huntly Express, which sadly hasn’t really got an aka.

I won’t talk technical stuff with you. You know more about f-stops than I ever will. I tend to trust the camera to get it right and only change the settings if it doesn’t. Much more interesting are the day-to-day silly things that happen, but the number one tip is to put people at their ease. This basically involves making a fool of yourself. A good one is to leave the lens cap on, which gets everyone laughing and then you can go ahead and get a nice, relaxed shot. Little do they know that half the time I really do just forget!

Then there are the opportunities for you to stand on a chair or ladder to get that bird’s eye view, and of course you wobble a bit and the crowd all laugh and gasp, again a happy shot. Rope in the reporter and it works even better. She insults you, you take it and play the fool back and everyone laughs like drains.

It’s that easy. And it seems to come a bit too naturally to me.

I thought I’d just write this when I feel like it, or when something momentous happens (might wait a long time), and talk about whatever has been going on. For instance, today I met a matron who grew up in Buckie and has been a major player in the new series of ā€œ24 Hours in A&Eā€. Talk about good looking. I was swooning at matron’s deep brown eyes and silky voice. Matron Matthew really brightened up my day.

There’s a whole universe of silly stuff, even in this quiet corner of the country we call home.

I don’t get to go to earth shattering world events, just small jobs that might easily be overlooked in the universal scheme of things, but are hugely important to the people involved in them. I feel privileged to be invited into their lives, even for that short time.

All of this makes me love going into work each day. You never really know what you’re going into.


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