One of the biggest surprises at’s Photo Week was today’s workshop (actually it was more of a talk) by American news photographer Robin Layton. Robin is one heck of a shooter (She was named one of the best photographers working in America when she was only 26.) and a lovely storyteller and what a story she had to tell. fbc4d5345d2dc212dfa817524c291531

For me, there was a lot of remember when in her stories of shooting for various newspapers. For example, I can remember situations as a young news photographer where I changed film (We only shot bulk-loaded TRI-X and Illford.) even though I hadn’t shot the whole roll thinking that if something happened I’d need as many of the 36 exposures as possible to get “the” shot. Robin did the same thing and got the sports shot of the decade for her troubles.

Because Robin was often the only girl (at 26 she was a girl in the newspaper world back then) in a pack of men (all older and grumpier) and would be relegated to the second or third best shooting position. (Men are like that.) I can remember when I was shooting I’d see all the big name guys clumping together and I’d purposely move away to some other vantage point often ending up with a better or at least different shot than everyone else.

But perhaps the biggest lesson was embedded in Robin’s last project: shooting basketball hoops and her Washington moment.

Now I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine a subject with less appeal but Robin is publishing a book of hoop shots and it’s terrific. So was her story about talking herself into the White House to get a shot of President Obama’s hoop. Talk about mission impossible but she did it.

It comes down to this:

Shoot with all your heart and never take NO! for an answer and keep shooting. (You miss 100 per cent of the shots you never take. – Wayne Gretzky)


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