I’m the Resident Photographer on the First Ever Photo Reality TV Show

Here’s the scenario. Let’s say…you know, sort of hypothetically…that the History Asia channel has announced plans to run a photography-themed reality TV show, Photo Face-Off. The premise is that a professional photographer will be competing with amateurs in a variety of unusual situations. Let us posit, further, that the idea for the show was inspired by the Canon PhotoMarathon, an annual photography contest held in cities all over the Southeast Asian region.

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Let’s imagine that they’re doing casting calls; they want a shooter with solid professional cred and a breadth of experience. And they find one—let’s say it’s you! (They’re impressed with your background in both commercial and wedding photography, and the fact that the New York Times regularly calls upon you for Asian assignments.) So you go on the show. And, despite your extensive international experience as a photojournalist, it’s like nothing you anticipated. It calls forth resources you’ve never had to draw upon.

Each episode of this putative “photography reality TV show” involves (let’s pretend) three challenges in which you are pitted against a local amateur shooter. The time limits narrow the advantage that you might otherwise have had over the less seasoned contenders, as do the unusual assignments—like getting a macro shot of bees without protective gear for the hands.  (Ow. Ow. Ow.)

Can you imagine being in that position?

Well, if your name happened to be Justin Mott (which it almost certainly isn’t), then this scenario would seem pretty old-hat to you. “Been there, done that, shot the photos,” you’d yawn. But since you aren’t Justin Mott—probably—and, for the record, neither are we, why don’t we all pop over and find out what the real Justin Mott’s experience on aforementioned photography reality TV show was like? And why, just for the record, even after being traumatized by swarms of bees during Season One, he is feverishly looking forward to the taping of Season Two?