Sunday, 19 December 2010

2010?.. I Must Have Blinked!

Santa ClausTHEY SAY that time passes quicker as you get older, and that seems to have been the case this year. I will book 2010 down as one of those years in which I was too busy to do anything else – and yet got very little done.

2010 was the year in which I intended to add some photographic coverage to the Canvey Beat; but never got around to taking any shots of Canvey Island or Castle Point. Instead I indulged myself putting my new camera’s capabilities to the test and appeasing my agent’s call for more feature material and additional photographic stock.

Apparently, having seen the results, she is not about to let me fully retire just yet.

I had been expecting it. The shedding of staffers has continued to occupy management’s mind this year – and freelancers are in demand more than ever before. But the bad news is that many staffers have now taken-up freelancing – and are prepared to work for peanuts rather than bolstering their early income with an additional part-time job.

The recent student protests and their violence will be on most freelancers’ minds this Christmas. 2011 seems set to provide more of the same; but from all manner of interest groups opposing the Coalition Government’s cuts.

I invested in a Kevlar vest many years ago, when I was frequently working abroad, and would encourage anyone covering this year’s anticipated riots to do the same – particularly if you will be working the crowd.

Given the fire-extinguisher incident at the Conservative Party offices, a hard-hat might be a good idea too.

Personally, I never like to attract any attention to myself. Clothing emblazoned with the word ‘Press’ may make you more visible to the Police if you get caught-up in an incident; but, in my experience, it can just as likely make you a target for certain elements in the crowd. I much prefer anonymity – relying on my press card to get me back through the police lines when I need to.

Demonstrations among Britain’s congenial backwaters, like Canvey Island, are unlikely to offer any violence to be captured for the front page; but I nonetheless expect the opposition party here to organise a few public meetings and marches, leading up to May’s local elections when they will be defending their Town and Borough Council seats.

If I have the time: I will attend those gatherings – and finally provide the Canvey Beat with some local photographic coverage, which, my agent advises me, will be impossible to sell…

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