Ideas for finding summertime wild art

One very common photo assignment around this time is the elusive wild art photo where the reporter or photographer is supposed to come back to the newsroom with this amazing front page photo.

Here are a couple of ideas of where you might go when given the assignment.

Parks and pools

While the city of Liberty doesn't have a public pool, it does have a small water park.

By this time, you've probability already run the photo of kids playing in the pool, but many community pools also have other activities such as swimming lessons and water aerobics. At parks, you might look for interesting angles on families enjoying swings or teeter tots. I'd suggest not shooting from eye level. Instead, try shooting from low on the ground (to get a clean sky background of a kid on a teeter tot), or up high as they enjoy a swing. Remember to have your press pass on and let the parents know what you're doing. Best times to find people is either early in the morning or late afternoon.


This was taken at the football fields at Cleveland High School before the start of a variety softball game. This little league team used the fields daily to practice since there is no park in Cleveland.

Sometimes families use school athletic facilities like baseball or softball fields to work one-on-one with their child. Those could make for good photos. Little league teams also tend to use open fields at high schools for practices. Best times are similar to parks and school.

Community centers

This was by far the strangest and coolest camp I went to this summer. This man in the community has been yo-yoing for more than 40 years and put on a camp to teach kids a fun pastime. Over the four-day camp he taught kids 12 tricks.

I found community centers to be full of wild art potential. From Yo-Yo camps to line dancing classes, they can provide several different opportunities at one convenient location. It wouldn't be a bad idea to run by your center once a month and get a copy of their calendar so you'll know what the center has going on that day.

By Jason Fochtman

Jason Fochtman is the photo editor for the East Group of Houston Community Newspapers covering 11 papers. Prior to his current responsibilities, he served as the sports reporter and photographer for the Cleveland Advocate, Eastex Advocate and Dayton News covering seven schools.

Jason graduated from Texas Christian University in 2009 and is a former multimedia editor of the TCU Daily Skiff, as well as photos editor for the TCU Horned Frog Yearbook.

You can follow him on Twitter at @JFoch.