Luck and Spirit by Deborah Zeitman

[photopress:rodcarewprintx.jpg,full,centered] © Deborah Zeitman

As a youth I was bold and brave, fearless in a way only innocence can allow. At nineteen-years-old, I eagerly walked into the Los Angeles Bureau of the Associated Press with a meager portfolio of black and whites and asked to work as a freelance photographer for the summer. The Bureau Chief looked me over and reached for my portfolio, an ugly fake wood-grain file held shut by an elastic band. He pulled the 8×10 glossies from the enclosure and rifled through them as I saw my life’s moments whiz by.

“The pros are much faster than college,” he said, dismissively tossing down the highlights of a year’s work upon his desk.

“I know,” I said, reaching to gather my photos of college baseball and beyond. “But how can I prove I can do it if you don’t give me a chance?” Our eyes met and right then I knew I had won, my spirit more important than my expertise.

That night as I climbed down the stairs of Dodger Stadium, the fans screaming with enthusiasm, the artificial lights more jarring than daylight ever could be, I felt myself trembling. Weighed down by three cameras and my fear, I moved onto the field to the stares of the crowd and fellow photographers. At nineteen and a wisp of a girl, I couldn’t have looked more out of place or felt more disoriented.

But the crack of ball hitting bat sparked instinct. I focused and clicked and missed every important image.

The next day I dragged myself before the Bureau Chief, embarrassed, guilty, like a dog who’d misbehaved.

“How’d ya do?” he asked.

“Terrible. I was really nervous.” I could barely look up. “I need another chance.”

And I got it. And I shined, compelling the staff photographer accompanying me to submit my photo over his, and getting published across the nation in assorted papers.

[photopress:rodcarew006.jpg,full,centered]

The rest of that summer I shot for AP in L.A., and when the time came to return to college for my sophomore year, I started working for the bureau near my university thanks to the recommendation of the L.A. Bureau Chief.

This could be my tale of courage and perseverance, but really, it is my tale of luck. When I walked into AP that day, I arrived with the perfect balance of innocence and guts and stumbled upon a willing recipient of my style. I never sought advice as to how to land a photojournalist job, but perhaps my spirit is what gave me my first big shot.

To contact Ms. Zeitman email her at :wavewatcher@verizon.net

(Here is an article form one of our readers. Thanks to everyone for a great response to the call for writers.)

Instagram

Upcoming Events

Is there an event we should know about?
Let us know on twitter.

Current Exhibitions

  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art
  • Irving Penn: Centennial
  • APR 24, 2017–July 30th, 2017
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710
  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • GENERATION WEALTH BY LAUREN GREENFIELD
  • APR 8, 2017 – AUG 13, 2017
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Getty Center
  • Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of In Flagrante
  • May 23rd-Aug. 13th, 2017
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW
  • Through July 30th, 2017
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Mark Ruwedel-HELL and HOME
  • May 4th-June 24th, 2017
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • THE MECHANICS OF EXPRESSION
  • APRIL 6 – MAY 13, 2017
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • STEPHEN WILKES Ellis Island: Ghosts of Freedom
  • March 4 – May 27th, 2017
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

Like what we’re posting?
Join us on Flickr.