Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer and World Traveler
A little over two years ago I was spending a month in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. I had my computer with me, and was checking my emails, when lo and behold I saw an email from the New York Times newspaper. Yes “the” New York Times. It was from the photo editor, asking if I would be available to do a one week photo shoot with a reporter they were sending down to Yucatan. At the time I was living in Merida, the capitol of Yucatan. They were going to do a feature story on Yucatan, and didn’t want to send one of their own photographers down, so they were looking for local talent.
They found me through The Yucatan Times newspaper, and although I had recently resigned my position as their staff photographer I was still doing some freelance work for them. The NYT times editor had reviewed my work on my website, and determined it was of sufficient quality to offer me the part-time gig. What to do? Accept the offer and rush back to Merida, thus curtailing my stay in San Cristobal? Or decline the offer and continue with what I had originally planned?
I ended up by politely declining the NYT generous offer, and continued with my visit to Chiapas and my retirement. Did I do the right thing? I’m not sure. I really didn’t need the money, but the ego-trip would have been grand. To have my photos published in the NYT would have been a trip. But after thirty years in banking, and a one-year stint with The Yucatan Times, I was pretty burned out with deadlines and such. But I can take some satisfaction in the fact that the offer was ever made in the first place. I recently posted an article about why you should have a website and an online presence. This is a case in point.