Departing Buffalo Reporter Says He’ll Miss Photographers Most

By Kevin Eck 

Before he leaves Buffalo, N.Y., CBS affiliate WIVB, George Richert wrote a tribute to the people who put the pictures to the reporter’s stories.

Richert wrote a note to the station photographers telling them he thinks they are like a “masterpiece painter who is only given two colors, and 10 minutes to work with.” He then called them the industry’s unsung heroes and added, “and I will never forget you.”

“One of the ways you can judge a TV reporter is by looking at a photog’s face when he or she finds out they are assigned to work together that night,” Steve Cichon, who once worked with Richert at WBEN and WIVB and posted the note on his blog, wrote. “When you’re assigned to work with George, your day brightens and a smile crosses your face.”

Richert told The Buffalo News he wrote the piece because he realized photographers “are under-appreciated, and no one really sees what they go through except the reporters who work with them.”

“I feel so close to each one of them,” said Richert. “And they are absolutely what I will miss most.”

Here’s the complete note:

Dear Photographers,

I don’t even remember who it was who first invited me to have dinner in the Photographers’ Lounge, but I want to thank you all for tolerating it.

I’ve tried to earn the right to be there because I think it represents a sort of brotherhood with our big sister.

It’s hardly a ‘Lounge’ at all…More like a simple table for the purpose of eating fast and getting back to work.

After all, that seems to be the life of a photographer.

You run from story to story, often times finding creative ways to make something out of absolutely nothing.

Yet, when the script finally comes in, your hard work still doesn’t usually live up to the high expectations of what’s written.

Reporters like me run around looking stressed out, when you have the ultimate deadline resting on your shoulders; the final minutes and seconds before a story or a show airs.

You’re usually the first to realize that a (voiceover) wasn’t shot at all, or that a certain file simply doesn’t exist, and yet you’re expected to somehow “make it live.”

Reporters like me get to sit in the car while you stay out and shoot the b-roll we need or set up the LIVE shot.

You battle the elements and clock to make a dark LIVE shot look halfway decent, but often times the only feedback you get is to “iris down!”

For you, I love the days when your creative talents shine through and you get a lot of compliments.

But I realize most days you must feel like a masterpiece painter who is only given two colors, and ten minutes to work with.

I want you know that you’re the UNSUNG HEROES and the backbone of this industry, and I will never forget you.

My favorite part of this job has been driving around with each of you and sharing the highs and lows of our lives each day.

Those are the lifelong bonds that I will miss the most.

From the bottom of my heart… Thank You.

With Love & Respect,