All along, I had assumed that one of the PopPhoto 2007 Shootout assignments would be a photojournalistic documentary. The only questions in my mind were the topic and number of photos. Depending on my location when the assignment was posted, I had several options. If on the Mississippi coast, my intention was more photos for a documentary on Hurricane Katrina damage and recovery – a project that I’m working on anyway.
As things turned out, the third assignment was a “creative documentary” and I was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; however, the topic of the documentary was to “capture a day in the life of any job (though not an office job)”. There was a bonus assignment as well: photograph a unicorn.
I immediately dismissed the unicorn assignment as a joke which, of course, turned out to be a mistake. I should have just gone along with the joke.
I had a problem with this documentary assignment. For one thing, not only do I have an office job but virtually all my family and friends have “office” jobs. Also, I was away from home and reluctant to impose on someone’s day. Although my mother and sister had a few ideas, none of them appealed to me – and the clock was ticking.
Determined to complete the third assignment and finish the contest, I finally came up with an idea for my documentary. Granted, it was a bit of a stretch, but first we had to clean up my dad’s workshop.