One Last Picture for the Night

It was around midnight last night where I was on assignment for the european pressphoto agency (epa) covering the 2012 Japan Elections. We were a team of three covering the political happenings on a late Sunday night plus had two other epa photographers covering the finals of the FIFA Club World Cup on the same day. Always great working with these folks not only because they are one of the four major players in the global news photo agency market, but because their staff are all good people who take care of each other like family and don't undervalue the photographers they hire to make great pictures. Makes you always want to go that extra mile each time to produce good work. I was assigned to document the opening of the ballot boxes and then rush over to Ishihara's Japan Restoration Party venue. Time was sensitive as it was an important evening for Japan's outlook for the future which meant that filing deadlines were tight and had to be transmitted at the time the events were taking place. After spending about 15 minutes at the ballot box opening I headed out of the building and into a taxi headed to Ishihara. While in transit I ingested the images into my laptop, made my selects of 9 pictures, captioned and transmitted just before arriving to the next assignment 10 minutes later.

Upon arriving at the Japan Restoration Party venue, I quickly went in and saw that it was already full of photographers. Ishihara was already present on stage patiently watching the live results of the elections taking place. I made a few frames and rushed back out into the other room to caption and transmit the first set. Came back into the room again and shot a few more until it was officially announced the Ishihara's party won a seat in the parliament in which by that time it was 11:00pm. I grabbed my things and headed upstairs to situate myself down to transmit the last set of images for which I felt satisfied with for the night. For me, the last batch took a while to edit as I shot more frames than I think I should've. In the end I filed 17 out of 185. Could be too much now that I think of it with a fresh mind but thoughts of me lying in my bed were already creeping into my thoughts at the time. I didn't hear any complaints from the desk and no spelling or grammatical issues were made in my captions so I was all good for the night. Time to pack up and head home just in time for the last train back.

Usually what I do after coming home from a shoot is to pop open my laptop to briefly look over at my images again and so that's when I found one picture I made at the polling station that I asked myself why I didn't file this earlier. I went ahead to caption the single photo and sent off to the picture desk at 1:41am.

With all that being said, sometimes that last picture you send in is the one that just may be used. Most of the times not because it's filed 1-2-3 hours late or it just visually and technically sucks. In my case that last photo of mine got used as a headline photo in The New York Times. You can see the full story here.

Out of the hundreds of media covering the Japan elections, it's always nice to see them select my picture. The NYTimes seem to be a fan of my images when such important events are taking place in which you see below: