Being Ready for Anything and Olympic Photographers

Image from Getty Images – Richard Heathcote


In 2012, I wrote about how Greg Bull got the iconic shot of Gabby Douglas that was the defining image of the 2012 Summer Games.  There’s a great article on Gizmodo on how photographers from AP, Reuters and Getty Images cover the Winter Olympics, and how they do it differently. A few of the main points:

  • The combined photographic teams will each capture about one million images over the course of the games:
  • AP is focused on images to tell a story that can be in newspapers and news outlets, while Getty is more focused on shots of value to their corporate clientele for things like advertisements;
  • Getty laid 22 KM of ethernet cable for the fastest possible transmission of digital images;
  • Each photographer has up to four camera bodies, each set up with a different lens and different settings so they can switch out quickly and be ready for anything;
  • Planning started well in advance with AP doing a walk around through Sochi two years ago to start scouting out the best shooting locations; and
  • In Getty’s case according to Gizmodo, when the photographer clicks the shutter, the photo goes almost instantly to a team of three editors where “the first selects the best image and crops it for composition; the second editor color corrects; and the third adds metadata. The whole editing process is done in 30-40 seconds.”

How does this apply to PR? With us, we get paid to plan ahead and think of everything that MIGHT happen and be ready for it.  Are you?

  • When planning an event, think of the flow, what will happen, what might happen and how to make that work.
  • Who’s on your team?  Do they know their roles?
  • Plan, plan, plan.  Go to the venue.  Know it.
  • What’s your objective?  AP has their’s, so does Getty.




Tip for First Time Job Seekers: Find Your Stories – Tell Them


Last week, I was at my alma mater, the University of the Pacific, as a proctor for mock interviews for students to help them prepare for finding that first job.

All of the students I met with where very well spoken and I am confident will be in good shape when they start the actual interview process. There was one common thread with all the students in that they had some amazing experience but either forgot to tell me about it until I helped pull it out of them, or they “buried the lead.”

  • In one case, the student had developed a comprehensive social media promotion program for specific campus radio shows and was using Snapchat to drive program engagement and audience.  In this case, Snapchat worked due to the relatively small addressable audience and the need for immediate action and engagement.
  • Another student had taken over marketing for a band, and learned some extremely valuable lessons about working with all stakeholders to develop a marketing plan; and
  • Another had identified when the posts they may on social networks were most likely to get a response, and tailored their activity accordingly.

Any one of the above should be the first thing they are talking about in interviews.  I advised the students to each have 3-4 “stories,” they were ready to tell in their interviews.  Each of these stories could be used to answer the standard interview questions, i.e. talk about a challenge and how you overcame it, how you worked as part of a team…..

Even if you aren’t looking for a job, what are your stories?  How do you describe what you do to friends and family?  What do you tell a prospective business partner or sales lead?  Find your stories. Be ready to tell them.

Just ran across this on a Reddit AMA by Ken Burns.

“First of all, what I do isn’t heart surgery. But I did have this moment in 1999, when I was walking with my daughter across Washington Square Park in New York. A man approached and mournfully said, “My brother’s daughter died. My brother’s daughter died.” I instinctively stepped between him and my daughter. He saw my caution, and said, “SIDS. Crib death.” I knew he was okay. I said, “I’m so sorry. I have daughters too.” He said, “My brother and I were very close, and I didn’t know what to do when my niece died. Then I remembered your Baseball series, and I went and got his old mitt and mine and went to his backdoor and knocked. He came out. We didn’t say a word. We just played catch. And I wanted to thank you, ever since.”


Pitchers and catchers report Friday.