December 29, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoI realize I’m a new face in town, but just because I’m a photographer doesn’t mean everyone gets to tell me what to do. It really started last week, when my reputation as a journalist was tarnished by a pair of paparazzi who got in a fight trying to photograph Seal. Suddenly I was lumped into that category: I had one local say to me, “I am glad you can think of better things to do with your time than chase celebrities.” She was the mother of a girl I recently photographed making a gingerbread house.And she was right. I can think of a lot better things to do with my time. But everyone else still had to give me their two-cents worth.”You better watch out,” one Skico mountain manager threatened as I took photos of the gondola, which was closed for repairs. I laughed, thinking he was referring to the ongoing joke about Aspen Times photographers being injury-prone. But no, he pegged as a paparazzi, telling me he sent an e-mail to his employees instructing them not to tolerate photographers. I was offended, but it got worse when I got back to my desk. I had a new e-mail from Skico announcing that Santa would be skiing Highlands. So they want me to shoot on the mountain only when it is convenient for them? I am told to stay away from the mountain when there might be celebrities who I am not really interested in shooting but they need me when they have some PR stunt. That’s not very fair, is it?Then the one guy who you think wouldn’t try to push me around, a photographer from another paper, informed me I couldn’t shoot Cirque d’ Aspen – he thought he had the scoop on the circus coming to town, despite the banner across Main Street.Well, I’m here to set the record straight: I walked past Jack Nicholson without thinking dollar signs and whipping out my camera. I do have better things to do with my time.