Advice for photojournalist in Afghanistan please

#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.
 
#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
 
#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
Plastic Yank said:
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
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
snapperuk said:
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.
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...
 
#16
We were sat outside the NAAFI one morning and a young female reporter was there with a group. One of them got up to go and get drinks asking what they all wanted "skinny latte" said the female one.
We pissed ourselves laughing as where did she think she was? There wasn't even coffee or milk that day anyway. One of our guys then got up to go get drinks with demands from us shouting out " tea and scone, buttered bun etc"
That said the reporters I met seemed an OK bunch and I think any attempt to make the public aware of what our guys are up to out there is worth it.
Was John D.McHugh, award winning photographer the guy who took the pictures for the telegraph? There was one of a group coming in from a FOB, covered in dust and grime and the picture drew the eye to one lad that had the most amazing 'thousand mile stare' that I've ever seen.
 

Bowmore_Assassin

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#17
caulkhead said:
...Was John D.McHugh, award winning photographer the guy who took the pictures for the telegraph? There was one of a group coming in from a FOB, covered in dust and grime and the picture drew the eye to one lad that had the most amazing 'thousand mile stare' that I've ever seen.
I'm not sure which photos in the Telegraph you are referring to - do you have a link ? The other famous ones were those in the Sunday Times Magazine last year by Robert J Wilson who went out to photograph 52 Bde. He has just released a fantastic book of his photos called, "Helmand."

Advice:

Gloves - the type with holes in to let you get fingers out to mess about with cameras.

Lots of photo memory cards so you do not have to download too often.

Extra batteries for your laptop (which should be ruggedized) - do not expect to be able to charge it whenever you want.

Woolly hat for when you don't wear a helmet.

Knee pads - all you snappers like to get on your knees for the perfect shot (must be a secret harbering to be a Porn shoot director ! :D)

Take a sense a massive of humour - journo and an ex-crab - you are going to take some flak !!!

Good luck.

Post a link to your picks wherever they are published when you get back.
 
#18
WOW, just googled Robert J Wilson amazing front cover of his book - think he must the same photographer (perhaps it was the Times), it was back in the summer. I'm gonna buy a few copies of his book for xmas for myself and for pressies. Can't wait to get it now.
 
#20
caulkhead said:
We were sat outside the NAAFI one morning and a young female reporter was there with a group. One of them got up to go and get drinks asking what they all wanted "skinny latte" said the female one.
We pissed ourselves laughing as where did she think she was? There wasn't even coffee or milk that day anyway. One of our guys then got up to go get drinks with demands from us shouting out " tea and scone, buttered bun etc"
That said the reporters I met seemed an OK bunch and I think any attempt to make the public aware of what our guys are up to out there is worth it.
Was John D.McHugh, award winning photographer the guy who took the pictures for the telegraph? There was one of a group coming in from a FOB, covered in dust and grime and the picture drew the eye to one lad that had the most amazing 'thousand mile stare' that I've ever seen.
McHugh had quite a lot of stuff in Time (and/or Newsweek); he'd been attached to an American unit.
He also was quite badly wounded after a contact (they thought later it was a sniper, possibly Chechen, who'd done a lot of damage).
He had some pretty heavy surgery in one of the east London hospitals.
And, last time I heard him speak, was going back again.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
E ARRSE: Site Issues 24
B Int Corps 60
Ventress REME 8

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top