How an Inquirer photographer gets the most out of a mundane Phillies news conference

Every Monday, we present a gallery of recent pictures taken by our staff photojournalists and tell the story behind one of them. This week staff photographer Heather Khalifa talks about making an interesting image out of some talking heads.

Phillies minor leaguers David Parkinson (from left), Garrett Cleavinger and Zach Warren speak to members of the media in the locker room during the club’s annual Prospect Education Program on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Phillies minor leaguers David Parkinson (from left), Garrett Cleavinger and Zach Warren speak to members of the media in the locker room during the club’s annual Prospect Education Program on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

Attending news conferences is an important part of a journalist’s work. As an interactive forum, they give reporters an opportunity to get information from politicians, celebrities, athletes, or people in the news. For photographers, they are often just another person standing in front of microphones.

When covering a news conference, Inquirer staff photographer Heather Khalifa tries to make the most of what can be a very visually mundane assignment.

With 13 selected Phillies minor league players in town attending the club’s annual Prospect Education Program, Khalifa was among the journalists meeting them in the locker room. She saw reflections in the bar-style table top in the middle of the room and then framed it with the players lined up with the reporters. The event was, she said, “geared really for reporters, and this was my attempt to show that while making an image remotely interesting.”

See her picture of another news conference in the gallery below of staff photos from the week just passed. After the deadly gas explosion in South Philadelphia, neighbors unexpectedly hijacked a briefing by PGW and fire department officials, seeking answers to why it happened. The residents stood up and the “TV and radio reporters dramatically turned their cameras and microphones in their direction every time they spoke, away from the scheduled talking heads,” Khalifa observed.

» SEE MORE: Last week’s staff photo gallery and the staff photography page

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