Photographers sometimes get into the most precarious positions to get that perfect shot. The humorous drawing (below left) was apparently part of the White House News Photographers Association banquet in 1923, perhaps poking fun at the contortions necessary to snap an elusive photo. (The unidentified photographer whose head has been pasted on was perhaps one of the more daring cameramen in the corps.)
Life imitates art in the photo (below right) of an unnamed photographer dangling hundreds of feet in the air, the difference between getting the shot and taking the plunge the ropes of a wooden swing on the hook of a crane. This shot gives whole new meaning to aerial photography!
The flights of derring-do, or in my mind, derring-don’t, continue in the photos below. In this 1907 photo snapped eighteen stories above New York’s Fifth Avenue, the photographer appears to almost float in midair. Spotting the thin iron bar supporting him doesn’t offer much comfort!
A duo of daring photographers snap each other’s portraits on the edge of a building’s roof, likely in Washington, D.C. This photo is part of the National Photo Company Collection, where D.C. photographers show up as subjects as well.
This last photo’s caption really says it all: Difficulties of the cameraman, where a man with what appears to be a movie camera captures the action from a rather high seat. If my work required perching atop a billboard, I think I would be searching for new employment!
- Explore the entire Anything to Get the Shot series of Picture This blog posts about challenging photography.
- Enjoy other items in the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections where photographers are the subject.
- Get to know photographers working in the Washington, D.C. area through photos in the National Photo Company Collection.
- View the Photographer in the Picture album in the Library of Congress Flickr account, where photos from many time periods capture the photographer on film.