For a number of years, I have been honored to serve as the photographer for the Syracuse Press Club Awards.
Unfortunately, this year’s in-person ceremony gave way to circumstances that necessitated it becoming an online presentation, a somewhat ironic validation of the trend in today’s media.
A highlight for me this year would have been photographing Katrina Tulloch’s first awards ceremony as president, and would have been additionally special for me, since among the Club Award honorees are fellow photographers, Kevin Rivoli and Mike Greenlar.
Part of the “specialness” of the ceremony for me is the opportunity to work among the best in the business, and the up and coming journalists who will eventually take their own place as the best in the business. The challenge for photographers is to capture moments in such a way as to reflect the true essence of that tiny fraction of time.
The relatively easy part of that for me is that the award winners receive their certificates, walk to a mark, and smile at me. The mechanics of the camera take care of the rest. The image is captured along with the joy of the moment.
But…what is not captured, what cannot be captured, is the back story. The joy of that moment is reflected in the photo, but what is not reflected is the incredible amount of effort that went into making that moment possible. The moment of joy captured in my camera is the product of a combination of the indefinable.
Baseball Hall of Famer Honus Wagner said, “There ain’t much to being a ballplayer….IF you’re a ballplayer.”
Substitute “journalist” for “ballplayer” and the same can be said for those who walk to that mark in front of my camera. Whether the award recipients are repeat winners or first timers, training, determination, opportunity, creativity, a bit of luck, and assorted other elements have combined to create their opportunity for success. But, they have brought the most important element, their innate skill, into the mix. Without that, their moment, and mine, would not exist.
So, even though I will miss out on the opportunity to record the event with my camera, I cannot miss out on this opportunity to share my sincere congratulations to all of the award recipients.
So…to the past winners I have photographed, thank you for sharing your moments with me. To this year’s recipients, congratulations on your success, and even though I will be unable to record the event, thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on what it is we do, in whatever our individual niche in the profession may be.
Be it in words or pictures, we bring to light that truth that needs to be revealed, and in so doing, we serve our audience and we honor our profession.
Herm Card, May 19, 2020