It is not often that a photo assignment makes me nervous anymore. Back when I was fresh out of school and in my very first newspaper internship at the Bay City Times and Bay City, Michigan I would get so nervous before work that I could barely eat and I thought about little else other than my work. Photography is something that started as a hobby and morphed into a career. I studied under some inspirational professors at the Rochester Institute of Technology and continued on into the newspaper world before ultimately becoming a freelance and wedding photographer where I am today. After graduating, when I started that internship in Bay City, I wanted nothing more than to succeed in the world of photojournalism. I needed to do well and execute each assignment with purpose and commitment, although I worked with editors who expected the best, all the pressure I felt came from within. In my subsequent years as a photojournalist I have shot everything from the President of the United States to major sporting events so when Arizona State University asked me to photograph Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant scientific minds on the planet, I was honored but also nervously excited. I knew I would have only a few minutes to take the photograph and everything would have to be set up and ready to go for the moment Professor Hawking entered the small room. I got to the location early set up my lights and did some test shots before Hawking arrived. In the end Professor Hawking was a gracious subject and once I got behind the camera all tension about the shoot I had been carrying around evaporated at the first click.
Click here to read about my experience photographing 9/11 in Bay City.