Assigned to cover the Boston Marathon last month, I scoped out the finish area. Given the Monitor's selective sports coverage, mine was not a prime press credential. I cruised the bleachers my badge granted me access to, checking out angles and light.
I met a freelance photographer with a similar badge. Our conversation began, per usual, with "Who are you shooting for?" Having freelanced for years, I'm empathetic - and grateful for a steady job.
We exchanged pleasantries and I was about to continue on my way when I decided to ask a bit more about his situation. That's when he mentioned how, last year, he'd been able to take photos from a walkway near the finish line. "As long as you don't just plant yourself there, and keep moving," he said, "they'll let you shoot."
I followed his advice, and this image was the result: Cheri Blauwet of San Lorenzo, Calif., celebrating her wheelchair win. The men and women in purple vests bear the elite credentials. For photographers at a news event, the milieu is a mix of cooperation and competition. Sometimes elbows fly. Other times, the pack is gentler.