After the newsroom staff at The Telegraph of Nashua, New Hampshire, was reduced from 40 to 18 recently, Don Himsel was forced to wear many hats. Hired as a photographer in 1989, Himsel now reports and writes news stories, paginates pages when necessary and does many other task around the newsroom in addition to taking photos.
“That’s the way it is,” Himsel said. “You never know what the next day is going to be like.”
But even if it’s just going out to get a photo of sewer pipe construction for use on a slow news days or popping of a photo to accompany a staff writer’s story on potential improvements to the electrical grid (“It’s hard to sexy-up power lines,” he says), he’s still where he most wants to be: behind the viewfinder.
Don Himsel, a veteran journalist/photographer at The Telegraph of Nashua, New Hampshire, says flexibility and adaptability is key out in the field: “I’ve got a tuxedo and a hard hat and I know how to use both of them.”
Himsel surveys the scene at a worksite in Nashua.
Some photos are easier and quicker to get than others.
Taking multiple shots – both horizontal and vertical – from various angles provides options for the copy desk.
Being well equipped is key to a photographer’s effectiveness. This is a Canon 7D, an early model video-capable DSLR. “It’s pretty old, but shows how progressive we once were,” Himsel said. The lens is a 70-200 f2.8.
“Letting people know who you are and why you’re there can make things a lot easier,” Himsel says. “They want to know why you’re taking their picture.”
Upon returning to the office, Himsel uses Google Maps to pinpoint the location of a recent shoot.
Captioning his own photos mimimizes any potential misidentification of the subjects or location.