KCRA Sacramento Juvenile Hall Job Fair
This is one of my same-day packages for KCRA-3. It seems like forever since I’ve done one. I’d like to do one or two a week, but I only get to do one of these when we have a full staff of photographers and all of the reporters are teamed up.
This story came about when Tim Herrera, Communications Director with the Sacramento County Office of Education, contacted me about this one-day education & job fair was being held for juvenile residents in the Sacramento Juvenile Detention Facility. There is a high school within the facility for the students to continue their education. This event is to show them what is available to them for after high school and once they are released. Many of these kids don’t think about the future. Perhaps that’s what contributed to being put into detention in the first place. The goal is to show them what kind of jobs are available to them with a high school diploma and how much they can earn.
Tim Herrera is also one of my best and dearest friends. I worked with Tim for over ten years when he was a reporter with KCRA-3 News. Tim contacted me about the story a few weeks earlier and it sounded extremely newsworthy. The day before the event took place I got the go-ahead to do it.
This is a story that I shot with Tim in the 1990s:
Shooting stories behind bars is always a little sensitive. I’ve never ever had any issues and everyone, from guards to prisoners, have always been polite to me. I’ve been inside prisons at Folsom, Vacaville, Susanville, and I know I’m leaving some out. But being in a juvenile detention center is different because you’re dealing with minors, so you can’t show their faces and also have to be careful about showing tattoes, which can be just as identifying. Also, you have to be sure to never show anyone making any kind of a sign, gang sign or whatever, because you have no way of knowing what kind of coded message they may be trying to send out. All that said, I have to say that the young men in this story were all very nice and all were very willing to be interviewed and talk to me.
Close shots with the camera angled down, below faces, and extreme long shots with only backs of heads.
These are a few frame grabs from the story to illustrate what I mean. In a few instances you were able to make out too much of a tattoo on someone’s hand or wrist, so using the “media effects” tool in Adobe Premiere, I simply enlarged the frame 20%-30% and re-composed the image to frame out the tattoo.
Everyone said so many good things that I am going to try to put together a much longer story for the once-a-month news magazine program Common Ground for the end of the month.