Greetings to Firefighter Nation! I'm curious to see if there's others who share my dual love of firefighting and photography... I've been writing and shooting about firefighting ever since I started the DCFD academy last year, which I've put on www.raisingladders.com. I'd love to work on more events and do some shoots for fellow firefighters if they want me to; is there any interest from brothers nearby on the East Coast?
My department happens to have three photographers at the moment, if which, I am one.
I've been shooting for a newspaper since 2000 and wasn't even a firefighter when I got to shoot inside of a controlled burn run by the department I now serve in. My camera goes with me on most calls but I usually work instead of play unless it's a big job or something special, or I'm asked to shoot of course. I try to shoot our drills, special events (we just hosted a convention for volunteer firefighters this summer) and structure fires. I also do some press work for the department (considering I have a really good in with the paper!) and am hoping to take a PIO course when the opportunity presents itself. I'm always torn between documenting an incident or playing a role in resolving it. I want to do everything... Well, almost anyways. =)
Our other photogs are a seasoned veteran firefighter who doesn't have much "formal training" in photography and a rookie who has very little firefighting experience but is a natural shooter. I fit roughly in the middle with 4 years as a firefighter and 15 years doing photography... I was shooting the fire service for a number of years before joining it too.
Smugmug is okay... it sounds wonderful, but it's annoyingly limited for the price you pay. I'm looking to get away from it, since I a) don't want to pay anymore, and b) would like to design the layout the way I want it, instead of picking a preset theme.
I find I have the same problem, working an incident but really wanting to document it.
How did you get in with the paper, and what gear are you currently shooting with? (I only ask to see what kind of gear is holding up to the battering that news photogs going into burning buildings can dish out.)
I was a professional photographer before getting into the fire sevice. I went to RIT and Western Kentucky for photojournalism. I did the AP and local paper thing for a while too. Check into most of your smaller papers or if you have a local AP, UPI or Reuters office. Most of them will hire a ton of stringers to work on a per assignment basis. They will also almost all accept photos that you submit and pay per shot used. Call your local photo desks and ask how they work those types of things.
I have had a big interest in photography for almost 2 years now. When I graduated college I got a nice DSLR and have been hooked ever since. By trade I am an remote sensing technician. Which means I fly around and take pictures of the ground. Much like google earth, just better resolution. We have a small department, only 30 active members 15 of which actually show up on a call. I dont take my camera on calls with me as much as I would like to. I find that my roll is working and not playing. I do take photos of events and training. I would like to know if there are online classes where I can better my skills. I would also like to find a place to sell my pictures. Living in West Virginia and back packing a lot, I have quite a few good looking scenery and panoramic shots.
I have a Nikon D40 with a Tamron 18-250 mm lens. Its a Digital Single Lens Reflective. Its by no means a professional grade camera, but it is a nice starter and can do a lot more than the point and shoot most prefer.