Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Day in the Media Scrum

As you may have seen there was quite a lot of media attention in Dunfermeline and West Fife, especially as Charles Kennedy was back on the campaign trail, along quite a large number of Liberal Democrat MPs and activists.

Well I was there. In fact as I was leaving the campaign HQ Willie Rennie's agent handed me the campaign camera and asked to me to get as many pictures as I could. Now normally this would not be too big an ask, however, when I turned up in the centre of Dunfermline and saw the number of press assembled I knew I was going to be tough. We gathered waiting for Charles and Willie to appear, both the press and the party faithful anxious waiting to get going. After a false alarm when Danny Alexander MP and Jim Wallace MSP caused a media rush in the wrong direction the car eventually arrived.

My first few shots were more miss than hit and included a brilliant snap of the Mark and Spencer’s signage, some Lib Dem balloons and the tops of some super signs. I had to think like a photojournalist to get the right shots. So I started to look for vantage points and kept hopping ahead of the throng in the hope of being in the right spot. Sure enough I started to get better taking pictures of mikes, other cameras and the back of super signs or journalists head.

I was starting to share the camaraderie of the press pack snappers trying to get their shots. I also had one advantage I could shout at the odd Lib Dem to twist or lower a corex super sign to allow a good shot. Charles and Willie eventually made it to the other end of the street stopping at a charity shop, a bakers and the tourist information office. Along the way they stopped for several interviews and even met some brave souls who were prepared to enter the media scrum to say a few words to Charles and Willie.

Oh, I did get some pictures that were usable at the end of the day, but now I know why the press just keep snapping away.

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