Why Persistence is Necessary / by Joseph Ryder

Me at Citifield.jpg

This baseball season I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was given the chance to meet one of sports best photographers and photograph the New York Mets.

This was an opportunity that I forged for myself. Often times you're your advocate and have the ability to open doors for yourself with a little persistence. In late winter, after photographing the Stony Brook University Football and Basketball team, I wanted to try to take my photography to the next level and learn from the best.

I'm a lifelong Mets fan and with the season approaching I started searching for a way into a few games. I found this article on digitaltrends.com and set out to try to contact the Mets' team photographer Marc Levine.

After some digging I found an email address and sent him an email, then I waited. And waited. And waited.

A week passed with no response. I decided to email him again. A week later, still no response. At this point I was pretty bummed out but decided to press forward. I dug some more and found a phone number for Marc. 

I was hesitant at first to call; what would he think getting a random phone call from a student photographer whose emails he may have been ignoring?

After some internal debate I decided to say screw it, the worse that could happen was him saying he couldn't help me. I dialed the number and Marc answered. After introducing myself and explaining who I was Marc was very nice and confessed to me that he didn't check the email account that I was sending messages to.

After a ten minute phone call he invited me to photograph games during the season and to critique my images afterwards.

All I could think after that phone call was "wow, did that really just happen!?"

The season came and I got credentialed to shoot a bunch of games and had an amazing time. Marc is an amazing photographer and person. He didn't need to help me but he did.

But I never would have gotten to that point if I hadn't pursued it. After the first non-response to an email I could have given up but I didn't. The lesson I took from this was that if you want something, you have the opportunity to open your own doors. Don't be afraid of reaching out to someone multiple times or calling them.

If you want to do something get out there and do it.