This may not be applicable to every photographer out there, but I’ll be damned if there isn’t a photog out there who hasn’t been sitting around waiting for a subject and thought, “I would look so fucking cool if I were smoking a cigarette right now.” If Dennis Hopper could do it, so can I.
Journalism and cigarettes were once synonymous with each other, and a glorious time it was. Everyone in the newsroom smelled like cigarette butts, scotch and freedom of the press. How else do you think photo editors make it through a shift? All these kids with their bullshit and lust for life. One day they’ll realize just how shitty the world is, and they’ll be sucking down Marlboro reds like the rest of us.
What else is a photographer to do when killing time? The high school football game doesn’t start for another 45 minutes and you’re too broke to afford a smartphone. So do like you did when YOU were in high school: sneak out to your car and light up that American-grown goodness like the principal isn’t watching. Feel the burn. All is well.
Despite all the horrible things that cigarettes do to the human body (and we’re completely aware of those things), it just seems like the right thing to do. What better way to get quick access to a homeless population than by showing up with a carton of the heaviest cigarettes legally sold in America? Whether you’re racing across town chasing a goddamn hot air balloon because there is literally nothing else to shoot for the space on 5A; or if you’re just looking for an excuse to get out of the newsroom while the design desk crops your image more and more to fit the page, cigarettes are a staple for photojournalists.
AND, if they aren’t your bag… Well get on board, you’re missing out dude.
Note: This isn’t an intentional advertisement for cigarettes, but if Camel were to stumble across this post, I wouldn’t be upset if they sent a few complimentary cartons my way.