In November junior photojournalism student Flannery Allison was chosen as a photography media trainee by the World Curling Federation and was flown to Champéry, Switzerland to photograph the 2014 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships. Here are her thoughts on the experience.
Going to Switzerland to Work for the World Curling Federation as a part of their media trainee program was an experience I will never forget. I learned a lot through the experience and improved as a photographer. Although I have been a part of the curling world for the past five years as a competitor I have not had a chance to practice photographing it. It is a difficult sport to photograph because there is no contact so you can’t get the moment when two people go for a header and bang heads which is an image carried by action. You must focus much more on the emotions that are playing out in front of you. These emotions range from the more subtle like the look of anticipation as a player waits to see where there stone ends to the more dramatic of a player yelling their heart out to their teammates to sweep so that they can make it past a stone. Along with the fact that there is less action I was also photographing the same sport for 9 days so by the second day you start to get antsy and need to find new angels and ways to shoot. Trying new things was vital to creating sucseful images while there.
I worked long days starting as early as 8 in the morning and going as late as 11 at night. Although the days were long they did not feel that way because I was busy the entire time. We would get there before the games began to prepare for the day and would shoot for the first half or three quarters of the games and then would leave to process our images and put them on the server and the WCF website so that people could see images from that day. This cycle would repeat for every draw. Being able to process the images quickly was imperative in order to keep up with the demand from our viewers. This mentality is common in world of photojournalism so it was good to learn how to work under tight deadlines. I also learned that preparation for post-processing is imperative; having all the names of the players in the system before shooting makes editing ten times faster.
Through the whole process we had some really helpful people guiding us through the adventure. My mentor’s name was Richard Grey. He is the official photographer for the WCF. He was able to find errors in my photographs that I couldn’t see. Seeing the life that is offered by a job like the one I was able to do in November made me want to come back to school and work harder so that one day I could live that life.