A few posts back, John Larson wrote about having a “Back Pocket” story. These are stories that you work on over a longer period of time that are not constrained by the pressures of the daily news grind. I have been doing “Back Pocket” stories since I started my career and they are one of the reasons I still love what I do. They are stories that you tell the way you want under the timeframe you choose and therefore tend to be extremely rewarding on a creative and professional level.
Of course, there isn’t a news station anywhere that would give photographers and reporters unlimited freedom to do take as much time as we need to do a story. But there are ways to make time. I did a story a few years back about the Denver Skate Park that I shot during my dinner breaks (on nights that I actually got a dinner break). For other stories, back when we had take-home gear, I would schedule interviews on my way into work and let the desk know I would be a few minutes late.
Recently I did a “Back Pocket” story using another method: I took an ongoing issue that all of us at the station were covering all the time and I saved my footage, shot some new interviews and put together a larger package. The story is about gang violence and the community members who are fighting to erase it.