Lessons from the trail

I just wanted to take a minute to post my favorite images of the Democratic and Republican nominees for president that I had the opportunity to make while covering their primary campaigns, and share a few things I learned during my time with them.

  

(AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)
Above: Sen. John McCain, R-Az., right, and his wife Cindy McCain, left, wait behind a large American Flag, to be announced at an event in Columbia, S.C., on April 26, 2007.

(Brett Flashnick/WpN)
Above: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., makes a grand entrance into the Columbia Convention Center, during his first visit to the south, on Feb. 16, 2007.
Overall I think the most important thing that I learned along the process is that the relationships you make are crucial when you are in situations like this.  When you cover something as large as a political campaign (especially those of the top tier candidates), you are often subjected to being part of pack journalism.  Something that I personally detest, since it greatly tends to limit the amount of creative freedom you have to photograph the events as you truly see them, and find real moments which is something I truly value.  I found out early on that taking the time to build relationships with the candidates staff, interns, and advisors, the same way I would with a regular client, I was able to put myself in better positions to make the images that I wanted.  After the relationships and trust were established, convincing advisers, press spokespeople, and staffers to let me make the images I wanted to was a much easier thing to achieve, and once I got to know the candidates personally it resulted in me being able to photograph them as I saw and perceived them, and by the end of it I had the campaign staffers trying to help me make the images that I wanted to, and the best part was I got paid to do it.  In my book that is a win-win situation all the way around.

2 thoughts

  1. Hey I actually watched you take that pic, well my mom and I did. We were about 10 feet to the right of you debating on whether or not it was you. Thats pretty cool. I just wanted to say how amazing your art is!! Congrats!

  2. Hey Christa! Thanks for the kind words. It has been a challenging, busy, and fun past 20 something months photographing, and getting to know all of the candidates. I’m working on putting together a collection of all of my favorites from the ’08 elections and will post a gallery on here when I have the chance. Please tell your family I said Hi, and I hope everyone is doing well.

Leave a Reply