Hello, Magic Valley. My name is Pat Sutphin, and I’m excited to join the team here at the Times-News. I thought I’d start my first blog post with reactions from the first seven days on the job. Included is a gallery of images from that first week.
Day 1: Chief photographer Drew Nash sent me to my first assignment with unfamiliar camera gear and two dead batteries. I’ve spent the past four years shooting Nikon, only to be thrown back to Canon. I’m not complaining, I just wish I had a chance to go over the camera bodies before my first shoot. It took an embarrassing 15 minutes to figure out the white balance control was a menu function and not a back button like I’m used to. I’m not sure if this is Drew’s way of hazing the new guy or if he really wants to see what I’m made of. Challenge accepted!
Day 2: I’ve had several people approach me today to tell me how much they liked my photo from yesterday. It’s nice being in a place that actually follows and appreciates the news. More impressively, each person who came up to me already knew my name. In this industry it’s more common to hear criticism than praise. I have to admit today was a nice change of pace. Twin Falls, you know how to make a guy feel welcome.
Day 3: Spent 20 minutes driving down every road of the Five Points at Blue Lakes and Addison. As it turns out, the road I was looking for is the one I started on. Another proud moment for men refusing to ask directions. On a brighter note, I have most of my camera gear figured out. I’m excited to get out there and start working on some more technical photos. It seems like there should be some good spots around here for star trails.
Day 4: I made it out to Perrine Bridge and took my classic scenic shot, a staple for every starting photographer here. The whole time I was at the scenic overlook, I couldn’t stop thinking about the amazing kayaking photos I can get down in the valley. I really hope Drew has some waterproof gear. I still can’t pronounce the name of the bridge properly, despite having several people correct me. I’m going to go ahead and blame this on the “Chicago accent” I’ve been told I have.
Day 5: Decided to take a break from unpacking to explore a little. The calzones at O’Dunken’s are fantastic. The traffic on Blue Lakes is not. Pole Line isn’t much better, but it’s still nothing compared with what I’m accustomed to back home. I’ve seen a lot of people outside, walking around and playing at City Park. This definitely seems like a great community to be a part of, especially for families. I think my son is going to like it here.
Day 6: I spent the day shooting farmers markets and car shows. I’ve been a professional photojournalist for four years, and I’m still amazed they pay me to hang out at stuff like this. The photos came out great, and I got a basket of juneberries for $1. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.
Day 7: So I’ve finished my first week on the job. The staff at the Times-News has been incredibly welcoming. This seems like a great group of people to work with. The heat has been challenging, with one of those days reaching 103 degrees. I really hope this is not the norm, but either way I can handle it. I’m not one to back down easily, especially when there’s potential for a great photo. When I first applied for this position I was hesitant to uproot my son and move to an unfamiliar place. After a week it feels like home. I’m challenging myself more to produce higher-quality work, and Drew keeps me busy throughout the day. I’m not the type of person who can sit around and wait for something to happen. Thankfully I have consistent assignments each day that keep me moving for the full eight-hour shift. I’m working harder, challenging myself more, and I know this job is going to push me to become a better photographer. This is exactly where I need to be.