I recently found out that, the image I took of then Sen. John McCain’s visit to Adluh Flour in Columbia, SC during his campaign for the Republican Presidential Primary while on assignment for the Associated Press has been selected for a traveling photo exhibit by the AP titled The American President. I feel extremely honored for my image to be selected for this exhibit since, “The photos in this exhibition are drawn from the AP Images photo archive, which contains more than 10 million film and digital images and is one of the most extensive collections of news and documentary images anywhere,” according to the exhibit’s official promotional flyer released by the AP.
Additionally, I am the only freelance photographer whose work is contained in the exhibit, all of the other images were created by some of the best AP staff political photographers of all time, and I feel honored for my work to be chosen to be displayed side by side with the work of photographers of that caliber.
To request interviews or speakers, to request use of photos from the exhibit or to book an exhibit for display, contact AP Corporate Communications at 212.621.1720 or visit http://www.ap.org/americanpresident
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.
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.
Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to spend some behind the scenes time with the family of 2008 Republican Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney as they toured South Carolina. I had a great time getting to know Ann, Mary, and Parker Romney, as we drove around the state on their tour bus. ABOVE: Ann Romney, center, and Mary Romney, left, along with campaign supporters and staff, laugh as Parker Romney, tries to make a call on his baby monitor on Tuesday afternoon. BELOW: Mitt Romney, left, and Ann Romney, right, share a moment as they prepare to go separate ways, after departing a fundraiser at Saluda Shoals Park on Thursday afternoon. After three days of campaigning separately, the Romneys only spent a few hours together in Columbia, S.C., before going their separate ways again.