Winter Play: Behind the scenes, capturing the moment
When 10 different reporters set out to try new-to-them winter activities, how do you begin to plan visual coverage for their stories? If you’re the photographer assigned to the project, you might just find yourself trying a new activity or two yourself.
As a visual journalist at MPR News, my main goal for this project was to bring our radio stories to a digital audience through compelling photos and videos.
I worked with freelance photojournalists Stephen Maturen, Derek Montgomery and Ann Arbor Miller to film and produce vertical videos that were posted on MPR’s social media channels, and Ben Garvin took the lead on editing each video piece.
New approaches for new audiences
The digital team at MPR News has made huge strides in growing our audiences through social media engagement. Whether on Instagram, Facebook or our recently-launched TikTok account, it’s clear that we reach a large (and often younger) segment of our readers through these digital-first channels.
Grow the Future of Public Media
MPR News is Member supported public media. Show your support today, donate, and ensure access to local news and in-depth conversations for everyone.
The resulting series of nine unique video pieces and accompanying still images was truly a team effort, featuring the work of talented visual journalists from across Minnesota.
New experiences all round
Turning the cameras on my own colleagues was a new experience. All of them rose to the challenge of learning a new activity in stride, and I appreciated the vulnerability they showed by sharing their cold-inspired apprehensions and fat tire wipe-outs.
I think those moments really resonate with anyone who is trying something for the first time.
Did our team run into unexpected challenges along the way? Absolutely. I learned that even a GoPro action camera will overheat when you bring it into a bathhouse steam room and that the autofocus motors on my mirrorless camera’s lenses become sluggish when the temperature falls below zero.
What notable winter activity did I experience for the first time? Well, I managed to get minor frostbite on my fingertips when I was photographing the Arrowhead 135 ultra marathon in International Falls, Minn.
But that’s another story.