Advice for photojournalist in Afghanistan please

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by snapperuk, Nov 14, 2008.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm a staff photographer for the Press Association and will be attached to the Queens Dragoon Guards for a week in December. I'll be covering camp life in the run up to Christmas, hopefully putting some smiles on the faces of family and friends back in the UK! There'll also be chance to go out with the troops on patrol and capture daily life.

    I know I'll be very well looked after by the MOD and the guys on the ground, but wanted to get a bit of advice from the real deal (you guys) rather than blindly follow advice from an officer at an MOD briefing.

    I'm ex RAF bomb disposal (10 years service) so know that the difference between in making an operational deployment comfortable and miserable is in the detail - mainly kit.

    I feel humble asking these questions, but what would you advise a civvy photographer to bring along that will make those embarassingly few days better and safer? I'm thinking along the lines of climate adequate clothing. I don't know if the MOD will supply it but I'd never be without a basic medical kit. Any stuff I shouldn't be bringing?

    I'd love to have a spare suitcase to bring out a load of booze and porn (hope things haven't changed since my day!), but that might raise eyebrows. I just want to be prepared and do my best while I'm out there.

    Cheers
    Ben
     
  2. Take loads of smokes with you snapper, can't have enough smokes on you to dish out.
     
  3. Don't forget to take the lense cap off!
     
  4. Got that one covered. It's exactly the sort of advice I'm after Devilish.
    Cheers
    :D
     
  5. I knew it wouldn't be long..... nice one RR. Lens caps? They're as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike :lol:
     
  6. join or visit this club:

    http://www.frontlineclub.com/

    read the book "Frontline by David Loyn and get to know the main players there. most are ex army and have experience reporting with and outside mil circles

    most importantly stay safe and don't put the boys in danger
     
  7. Good link PY. Cheers.

    Don't worry, stupidity will be left at home.
     
  8. If things get hairy. Get down and think of England.
     
  9. Take a blow up sheep for the QDG sheep shaggers.

    Although:

    If you happen to come across a certain vertically challenged SNCO who's first and second name begin with the same letter give him a clip round the ear from me and tell him to try and avoid the suicide bombers this time. :wink:
     
  10. Hi Ben,
    Good luck out there, if you get a chance give my son (42 Cmdo) a hug and kiss from me. For op sec you'll have to give them all hugs and kisses as I can't tell you his name. lol.
    It'll be colder out there than you think so take a down jacket and thermals. It rained a lot last year so be prepared to get wet. Wellies are quite handy if you've got room, or Berghaus Yeti Gatiers will do the job. PT kit as there are loads of gyms around KAF and Bastion. A really good book as you'll get delayed flights. Foods excellant and sweets and stuff are everywhere, especially around xmas. The medical aid is fantastic and if your get into the hospital in Bastion don't forget to report on the nurses on the wards. They always get forgotten as the MERT and A&E guys are better media interest (supposedly!).
    Take care, have fun......
     
  11. That was what I was going to post.

    Ask for Vaughan Jones, who is the main man there.
    Try and get a number for John D.McHugh, award winning photographer, who has given presentations at the Frontline.
     
  12. From my last tour which happened to be winter, take some decent warm gear, was baltic, if you are staying in bastion wouldn't worry about it that much should do with some gay-tex and buffalo with thermal layers. Lowa boots cant go wrong with them, big think I would say is wind break gear, get hold of a good bit of parachute silk lining for example, because the wind can really bite outside of Bast. Apart from that good luck and have fun. Smokes buy them there, cheap as chips off the choggies or get them in NAAFI, tax free :)
     
  13. Don't take booze or porn.
     
  14. Do take booze and porn.

    Don't get caught.

    Don't take any of it back with you at the end of the month!
     
  15. We had a couple of snappers from The Sun with us for a few days last year on Herrick 6 and couldn't wait to shake them off. Fuc*ing liabilities.

    DON'T:

    Get in their way - especially for the sake of a photo or vid.
    Try and talk to them like you know what they're going through.
    Act scared - even if you are.
    Complain about not having somewhere to charge your laptop.
    Expect to have any kind of creature comforts.

    You say you've got a service past so some of these are probably obvious to you. It wasn't my intention to insult your intelligence, Just my two pence from my experience of them...