THE job / by Helen Arase

Since I found a direction in life I've talked about being a daily shooter at a newspaper in a (big) city. That's like the dream job right now. I want to be in the trenches. Throw me out there. 

BUT I've been waiting around on this internship. Alright, it's the White House. And I didn't want to jinx it so I was doing everything I could to talk about it without naming it. You know? But they have a Photo Office and I interviewed with them and then there was nothing but silence for like two months and I am now on the waitlist. Possibly until September when it starts.

And I've always said I would apply to a job whole-heartedly if something equal or better came around while I was waiting. But like... is there really something better than the White House?

Then the "San Francisco Chronicle" is looking for a photographer. Looking at the description, this is THE job I've been talking about while describing what I want to do. So it's like, crap, maybe there is something out there.

My sister verbally slapped me when I said I wasn't sure if I should apply because of the WH and I would still like to improve my DSLR video skills, *(insert excuse, excuse, excuse), but this is an awesome opportunity. They still have a photo staff. They care about their visuals and the quality of them. I want to be a part of that. 

So I applied. I'm pretty excited. I had kind of given up the dream of being a shooter. I thought I was going to have to do something else in the media and then shoot personal projects.

But if I can be out with the stories and the people - that would be the dream. I have this weird... almost jealousy or envy of the photographers who have the opportunity to run towards danger to cover stories. I think it's like, I want to be that person so badly that it hurts. And they're so composed. In all senses, you know? Their photographs are thoughtful and framed well, the timing is good, and all I can think about is how crazy the atmosphere must be - how professional and focused and determined do they feel? And if I were in that place, would I feel totally thrilled and dialed in on my job?

I want to be that photographer. I ache to be.