Tactical Photo


Location: Melville NY
Members: 39
Latest Activity: Oct 15, 2013

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Comment by Andrew Cunningham on September 1, 2009 at 2:19am
Hello everyone, I'm a fire photographer for the Wheeling Fire Department in West Virginia and currently I'm doing fire photography in Pittsburgh, PA. I've been shooting fireground photos for 10 years and I started shooting video at fire scenes about 3 years ago.

I'm currently a web designer in Pittsburgh and I run sites for both Wheeling FD and Pittsburgh FD. I am really glad I found this website and I am pleased to see there is a group for fire department photographers and videographers.

My style of shooting fire scenes varies depending upon where I am and the situation of the scene. As a rule of thumb I never shoot photos of EMS patients nor do I show the faces of any patients that might have been extricated from an MVA or rescued from a fire. In Wheeling I am the department's official photographer and an Honorary member of their union, IAFF Local 12. This is nice because I know every firefighter on the department and all the Assistant Chiefs and the Fire Chief know me personally. When they see me at a fire scene they are comfortable with me there and me with them. I know well enough where to stand and how close to get. Often times if I arrive early enough I help unravel lines before they are charged or help report information to the first due company or to 911 dispatch. I always end up changing bottles on guys, getting spare bottles ready to change out and help out in any other way I can.

In Pittsburgh I am on different territory but all the Battalion Chiefs on scene always smile and nod or say hello. My knowledge of being on many fire scenes in Wheeling helps in Pittsburgh. But sometimes there are fire calls in a dangerous or tough neighborhood and I don't go there for personal safety. Sometimes Pittsburgh Police will refuse access to a scene. In Wheeling no police every bother me because they know I am with the Wheeling FD.

I'm interested in hearing about other photographers habits and conduct on scenes.

Thanks for having this group.
Comment by CHAPLAIN MARK OSHINSKY on January 29, 2009 at 12:59am
George you have the same name as my father in law had and my brother in law has
Comment by Ittywah on January 26, 2009 at 4:12pm
Hello, I'm George Zimmerman. I am the Webmaster and a photographer for Mar Mac Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department in Wayne County, NC. I am of retirement age and doing the WEB duties is a pleasure for me. I do not however, get to take as many On-Scene photos as is desired due to limiting physical disabilities that put a stumbling block in the way. I have a fire pager and hear all the calls for our department and pick and choose which ones to respond to. I have had the opportunity to be witness to and photograph a few training exercises. The photos I take are posted only on the department website and have posted apparatus and training photos on FFN.

I am not too comfortable reporting for photo duties at an MVA, especially one with PI's because of the attitude of Highway Patrol officers who are not friendly to the idea of a photographer on scene. I wear an identification vest that identifies me as Mar Mac person, but that and and $3.50 might get me a cup of Starbucks coffee.

"SO FAR" I have not had any problems with home owners at structure fires. I usually do not invade the scene closer than 10-15ft outside the structure and do not venture into the structure once the fire is out. I am extremely careful not to hinder the ability of firefighters or rescue personnel to do their work and make sure that I am out of harms way of the fire and traffic on the road at that location.

I welcome any comments and constructive criticisms anyone may wish to offer.

Comment by IPN on November 20, 2008 at 8:49am
Hi, its Steve from IPN. Greetings Photo Phreaks, Video Vipers, and those of you with a camera and a thirst for adventure! While I'm here, let me offer everyone our sign-up special: become a dispatcher for IPN and receive 100 bonus points just for signing up! Go to and mention STEVE in the "how did you hear about IPN?" section. Thanks!
Comment by CHAPLAIN MARK OSHINSKY on November 18, 2008 at 10:58am
The International Organization of Fire Photography (IOFP) is making significant changes to the way we do business. Over the next few days and weeks you will be updated on these landmark changes that will extend the interests of fire photography globally. You will get more information on the development of our cooperative platform to assist all fire photographers "through their own member organizations" internationally. We want to create benefits that serve all fire photographers regardless of where their membership originates.

The first step is to facilitate opportunities for all fire photography organizations to provide a benefit to their members. For the US, we have established a path to your fire photography insurance needs.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO FIRE PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM ALL FIRE PHOTOGRAPHY ORGANIZATIONS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE COOPERATIVE OPPORTUNITIES. There are no costs or fees for organizations to align with IOFP -- we simply want to pass through all of our resources and benefits to their members. We feel this will strengthen the local organizations and serve the best interests of fire photographers everywhere (look for more on this in a different email).

IOFP now has several insurance opportunities available for fire photographers which include:

1. Fire Photographer Equipment Insurance
2. Fire Photographer General Liability Insurance
3. Fire Photographer Malpractice Insurance
4. Fire Photographer Health Insurance

An online application process is being generated over the next month or so, but in the mean time, we will be getting you more information where you can get them by traditional paths, i.e., phone, fax...

You are an important part of the fire service and field of photography -- we will be continuing to work to get you to the best resources available to ensure your safety and success.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Comment by CHAPLAIN MARK OSHINSKY on November 12, 2008 at 12:18pm

Comment by CHAPLAIN MARK OSHINSKY on November 12, 2008 at 12:10pm
Custom-embroidered logo shirts and apparel by Queensboro
Comment by Terri on November 8, 2008 at 6:41pm
I uploaded a few photos, how do I get them over here? Or am I even supposed to?
Comment by Terri on November 8, 2008 at 6:01pm
Unfortunately...too many people outside our line of work do NOT realize the value of photographs in training. It is up to us to educate the public, let them know it is not from morbidity, but seeking an understanding and knowledge of why things happen, what can go wrong, and what we as firefighters and EMS can do to change it or help.
Comment by Sylviah on October 27, 2008 at 11:06am
Mark -

obviously, we do not want to offend anyone's sensibilities and Tom makes a good point in extending both an apology and an invitation to better understand what it is we do - I don't know about the photographer in question, but aside from a handful of fire photos I took while working for a newspaper, I've never received a dime for any of my photos! I take them because I know they can be beneficial in training, in investigation, even in helping homeowner's with insurance issues - we also want to remember that any photo we take is "our" property and legally we can post, publish or sell them as we see fit - I say this with the intent that photographers will continue to take important (and not-so-important :)) photos because you never know what you might capture and who will benefit from it - we should not be intimitated by Chiefs, homeowners or their friends - we should conduct ourselves as professionals and in this profession that includes a large measure of compassion - but we still need to be on the fireground, the MVA scene or anywhere else that the fire department/EMS are placing themselves in harm's way to help another

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