If someone showed you how to take a five-pronged fork and turn it into 5 knives, you might be intrigued by their skill. If someone took a knife and turned it into 5 forks, you would say they were bad to the bone. As a freelance photojournalist, I do something similar to the later. I don’t always go to multiple events to get multiple articles, I go to one event and come away with numerous articles. I can show you how.
I pay close attention to what’s going on around me, being almost on hyper-alert. With my full plate, I can’t always go to multiple events. I often have to go to a few events and glean many articles from my encounters and contacts there.
My car has almost 200,000 miles on it. I thank God for it, but it sometimes smokes like a chimney and has become a gas guzzler. It is not the workhorse that it used to be. Sometimes, it is not in my best interest to drive it to the events that I cover. This means I can either drive to events close to home, or I can park my car and catch the city bus for $2.00 a day. I do some of both.
How I maximized an event near my house
A couple of weeks ago, my gas and cash were running low. I drove my car to an event at a hotel five minutes from my house. I intended to cover a luncheon speaker for a parent symposium and then leave. When I got there, they invited me to enjoy a free meal. The luncheon speaker was awesome, and I wrote an article for the local weekly newspaper from his speech. It appeared on page 6-7 in The Villager Newspaper on February 25. In that same edition of the paper, I have articles on page 1, 2, and 5. I have provided the link below.
After he finished speaking, I went to the door and handed out my business card and encouraged people to check out my blog and Yahoo articles. I also sold a few copies of one of my book (“Emma’s Fantastique Word Play”) to a few of them. See picture of the book at top, and link below.
However, I had not been able to get a good enough picture of Principal Baruti Kafele in the darkened room. I arranged to follow him to his next scheduled speech at that same venue in order to get a better picture. He knew that I was following him for the picture, and invited me to stay for a panel discussion that would be held later.
As I spent those few minutes with the keynote speaker, I found out how he had developed a tie-in for speaking with the selling of his book. As a result, I asked him if he would be willing to allow me to interview him for a Yahoo article on publishing. He agreed to fill in my one missing piece for an existing article idea. See my article Publishing Options: 3 Ways to Publish a Book; which resulted from that interview. I already had material for two ways to publish in my head before I met him, but I did not start on the article until I met him and discovered that he was willing to fill in the missing third piece.
While waiting for the panel discussion, I talked to people and vendors. We shared cards and information. From this one education event, I was able to schedule a later interview with an educational video game designer. His game SaulPaul: Dream in 3D launched in January. I submitted this for an article for The Villager Newspaper. This paper pays me during the same week that I submit the work.
Evergreen Articles from the Parenting Symposium
Since he is an educator, amongst other things, Principal Kafele spoke during day’s close-out panel discussion. This was the capstone event for the day. He mentioned something else to the group, which was how girls may feel bad about their hair. He mentioned that it could affect their performance in class. At the end of the evening, I talked with him about it. He gave me information for another Yahoo article that I am working on right now. It deals with what educators can do when they have a student with hair problems in the classroom. I will likely call it Hair Woes.
I also met a man who had created a literacy board game. I took a picture of him and chatted with him briefly. Since he had to leave the venue in order to catch a flight back home, he and I agreed to do a Yahoo online article about him later. That night, I came home and looked up his game on a website. I then invited him to be a LinkedIn connection. I hope to connect with him soon for that article.
How I turned distant events into multiple articles
I have covered parades in my city by catching the city bus, getting off close to the event and walking the parade route. This on-foot strategy gives me a chance to view people and what they are doing up close. It also affords me the opportunity to take great pictures of the processional, and of the spectators. I did this during a Veteran’s Day parade, and during a Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Christmas parade in Austin.
For both of these parades, I was able to hand out my business cards. For the Veteran’s Day parade, I was able to also meet the parade announcer, and work on a future article about him.
Texas Book Festival – Austin
In October 2012, Austin hosted the Texas Book Festival. I attended both days of the event. I caught the bus on the Saturday because traffic and parking would be next to impossible by car. I drove and parked downtown for the close-out on Sunday. From this event, I gleaned five Yahoo articles. One was about Mark Updegrove’s book about President Lyndon B. Johnson, another about Dan Rather, one about thieves at the festival, one about the book “We’ve Got a Job,” and a final one about how the festival gets bigger each year. These all published on Yahoo online between October 30 and November 2.
Evergreen Articles from Texas Book Festival
Also pending are my evergreen articles on a street musician who was playing music near the festival grounds, a movie critic who was at the festival seeking an agent and a Duck Adventure tour bus which was giving a tour during the event. This tour bus gives regular tours, but I did not notice them until the festival.
At/Near Our Capitol Building during Texas Book Festival
Before I went into the city’s capitol building, I met a publisher. I told him about one of my 2013 book projects. I have since sent them my manuscript and marketing plan. Later, while waiting in line to enter the capitol building to see Dan Rather; I noticed how opulent is the capital to every degree. There are doorknobs and all types of special embossed or crown molded aesthetics in the building. I took tons of pictures for a future article with Yahoo.
I think we have to be as frugal with our time as we are with our money. The way I was able to branch off into several articles from one event is proof to me that a freelancer who keeps ears open and eyes peeled for multiple stories can get lots of mileage out of a single event. Eventually, this will pave the way for increased income. That’s what I am aiming for.
Also by Shirley
Dan Rather: 60 Minutes Iconic Figure Draws Crowd
Book Review: “We’ve God a Job”
The Texas Book Festival: The Bigger, Better Texas Book Festival
The Texas Book Festival
Lyndon Baines Johnson Character Book
Publishing Options: 3 Ways to Publish a Book
Famed Authors Offer Tips, Advice and Ideas