No child was injured in the making of this photo

October 2, 2008 

When I came into the office in March, my boss asked me what I should always answer in a photo caption.

Thoughts started racing through my head with random expletives peppered between them as I struggled to figure out what I had done wrong.

I stood there transfixed like a robot trying to unravel a paradox until my saliva overflowed into a pool of drool like so much magma to lava. As my body devoted resources into processing this situation, my motor skills deteriorated to the point of collapse.

When the smelling salts jerked me back into the conscious world, my boss' face came into focus.

"Always answer the obvious," he said.

Thoughts started racing through my head — well, long story short, I passed out again. This time, a picture was my first clear vision:

Around 300 elementary and middle school students participated in the 26th annual Leprechaun Dash on Columbia Park Trail on March 15. Finley, the usual champion in participation numbers, didn't have its usual turnout and Pasco's Virgie Robinson Elementary won with around 60 competitors running the one-mile race.

"Hey, I took that picture," I said, but that wasn't the obvious answer he was referencing.

The photo had ran six columns — the full width of our page, which made this little detail fairly apparent:

This was a detail I had noticed before sending the photo and I’d even go so far as to call and ask if anyone was hurt. The organizer told me that one child had fallen, but was OK so I put it out of mind, figuring that nobody would notice. I certainly hadn't when I shot the photo, but that was probably due to the fact that I rattled off a few frames of the start before hustling out of the way to avoid that child's fate.

In the end, the only harm done was a morning flurry of phone calls from concerned readers, but it was nice to know that people are actually looking at the photos we produce and scrutinizing the details.

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