So when you're a brand new reporter you're told to protect your gear with your life. Now life as a MMJ ( multimedia journalist) you are doing everything on your own. No camera person and no one standing there to cue you. It's just you the camera and the earpiece where you listen to your cues. It was my second week on the job where I didn't have anyone to supervise me or help me. I was learning to be on my own. I was doing a story by a river outside of Bozeman in the country area. My story was on search in rescue members dealing with river tragedies. As I was setting up for my shot, I see a man in a white van drive by slowly with his window down he waves I wave. Next thing I know I see him turn around and he parks his van infront of mine. As I was going live for my first hit at 5:30 I can see him in the corner of my eye getting out of his car pulling out a camera and a tripod from the back of his van and he starts taking pictures of me going live. After I am done with that live hit he comes up and starts talking to me telling me how I look beautiful in the light and he loves my face. I tried being friendly back telling him thank you. Then he asks me the question everyone always asks... so you're all alone? ... that's when I started to go back to my city girl skills I told him I have people in my ear from the station so technically I wasn't alone. I then told him it was nice talking to him, but I had to go live at 6. So I get in my spot and ready to go call into the station and the man stays there for my whole next live shot. He ended up walking with me to and from my car as I was packing up.
The whole situation was just super weird! Being new I didn't know what to do, because you never want to be rude but as a reporter you always need to make sure you are as safe as you can. That next day I got an email from that man who took my picture and he sent one of them too me. It wasn't a bad picture. During the time I was nervous, but now I just laugh at how odd that experience was.
I did learn though if anyone ever asks you if you are alone you tell them that you always have someone from your station one click away. Also texting your producer or anyone with your station to let them know what is happening even though it may be nothing is always best no matter what.