I’m pretty sure we’re not the first guys to dedicate a show to our cameraman. I’m not even sure if we feel differently about our guy as others do about theirs. Unless, of course, they don’t have a real soft spot for them and don’t consider them a part of the family.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Josh should be treated strictly as an employee and nothing more…it’s just that Keith and I aren’t any good at it. Keith has known Josh for most of his life, coached him in baseball when he was a kid, and employed Josh when he did the original MRA years ago. Keith has an excuse to treat Josh as far more than just an employee…me, I have none. He’s our cameraman, hired to do a job. Ah, if it were that simple.
Ya see, you spend days, weeks, months in the fall with these guys. Often, you stay in less-than-ideal conditions with them, not showering, wearing the same clothes for days, eating less than a “well-balanced meal”. It just makes it tough to keep any kind of hierarchy when you have to ask that man to help you up from crouching after taking a…well, “#2 in the woods”. Not to mention hours/days on end in a blind. You gotta talk to someone!! You sorta get past all the small talk in a very short amount of time and have no other choice but to really get to know one another.
If all that’s not enough for you, the cameraman is, basically, the boss of you in the field. Telling you when you can shoot, when you can’t, do this, don’t do that. Sure, they see you at your best, but they also see you at your worst…and often they have it on film. Hmmm, very perplexing situation. It would seem that keeping Josh happy would be a good “business” decision for both Keith and myself since he has our “image” at his fingertips.
Thankfully for us, it’s not a matter of business or personal, it’s Josh is simply not just part of the MRA team but part of the MRA family. He, too, is one our hunting buddies. Is he good for our business? Yes, he is. We think he’s one of, if not the most talented videographers in Outdoor television. But who cares? He’s @joshishmaelcam to us. And trust me, you don’t call your cameraman by his Twitter handle if it’s just business.