Sometimes pictures just happen and there you are with a camera. As a photojournalist, I occasionally encounter an event that I can photograph and sell to a publication. Good for me but, unfortunately for others, the event is often tragic.
I was on my way home at around 10 p.m. in December 2004 when I saw a patrol car abruptly stop in front of a strip of businesses. I knew the officer, so I pulled up and he said there was a fire around the corner.
This was before my digital camera days and I wasn’t carrying a bag with professional equipment. All I had with me was a small, name-brand auto- everything film camera with a built-in flash. The miniature camera was loaded with a 36-exposure roll of ASA/ISO 400 color negative film.
I ran around the corner just as flames blew out the front window of an historic pharmacy. A firetruck arrived as I stood on the median taking pictures. More firefighters and police officers soon swarmed the area.
I continued shooting until the fire was completely extinguished, which took about an hour. This photo appeared on the front page of a newspaper and a few others were printed inside. I wasn’t thrilled with the quality, but my photos told the story and I got paid.