Monday, March 26, 2012

Front-runner, back-peeker

"A supporter peeks from behind a curtain as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (not pictured) addresses supporters as he campaigns during a town hall forum at the American Legion Post 109 on March 21, 2012 in Arbutus, Maryland. After winning Illinois on March 20, Romney hopes to continue to pull away from his closest rival, Rick Santorum, and other front-runners for the GOP nomination."

On the second day in a row of political coverage on the campaign trail for Getty Images I was a bit closer to home and covering current front-runner for the GOP nomination, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov., Mitt Romney.

Right off the bat the two candidates events were much different.

To start, this Romney town hall forum was not an election night like Santorum and his own the day before. I knew it would be low key in comparison to that.

Second, access was much more relaxed with Romney. There was no security sweep. There were no large buffers or places the press couldn't stand. Even at times when I'd eye up a spot and think, "Not going to happen" I'd get a confirmation wave by those in charge to go ahead and try out the area.

Yet it was still a challenge trying to find something different. At one time I even decided to break out my long glass and work a couple frames in with it.

For some reason, I was very attracted to Secret Security and curtains the last two days. There is something strangely interesting about them. Not the curtains so much, but the security. What I know of them is what I see on television and that probably doesn't hold much true.

So when they're peeking behind curtains or discretely talking into their hand, I want to understand more. Yet, all I capture is a serendipitous moment of a well-dressed guard doing something probably no one cares about.

Alas, I kept my eyes on curtains when my eye wandered from the main subject. From the security peeking behind stage to supporters catching a glimpse from the hidden masses, they all made me smile.

I've hit my curtain photo quota for the year, but this above frame was too funny not to share.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On the trail

"Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum gets a kiss from a supporter after speaking to the crowd during an Illinois primary night event at the Gettysburg Hotel on March 20, 2012 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Santorum lost the Illinois primary to Mitt Romney, and plans to travel the next several days in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."

This week I was fortunate enough to get a call from my editors at Getty Images to cover some of the campaign trail - Tuesday night being the first, which was an Illinois primary night event for Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum in Gettysburg, Pa.

This was a great opportunity and something I've had the itch to document since primaries, campaigning began. Not to mention, I'm continually watching, being inspired by the work coming out of Washington by those documenting history at the White House, on "The Hill" and around the globe of worldly leaders (Check out some of the recent WHNPA winners).

There is something about being given limited access and trying to find something within those confines that makes covering political coverage an adrenaline rush. It's pretty much the same reason I like covering professional sports - despite better access with say college and prep sports - it's a challenge, it adds a new element of pressure and keeps you on your toes looking for something completely off the wall.

Although I've shot my share of, and also lack of compared to others photojournalists, political coverage in my past, whether mayoral, gubernatorial or presidential, at the end of the day, it's always a hard-days work.

In short, political coverage really emphasizes team work, deadlines and competition, and then pushes them all to a new level.

Despite being completely exhausted at the end of the night, I had a great time shooting in Gettysburg. I got to catch up with some photojournalist friends as well as getting to spend some time with those I've known by name and images, but hadn't had the chance to meet personally.

This was my favorite of the night.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Too much thought

"Alice Kong #12 of the Springbrook Devils reacts after giving up a foul against Polytechnic late in the fourth quarter during the Class 4A North girls basketball regional championship game at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute High School, Friday, March 2, 2012."

I don't shoot a lot of high school sports being a freelancer, so when I do, I tend to get very excited. I know that I'll most likely get either a playoff game or a good story, and as always, there will be a lot of emotion.

However, that also can set you up for disappointment, especially when you have all three aforementioned elements coming together.

All afternoon I was thinking of the story line. The Baltimore Polytechnic Institute High School girl's basketball team was 22-0 and about to battle for the regional championship. All I could picture was a crazy jubilation or a heartbreaking dejection.

After shooting a super-low scoring game, with not much action, time ticked off the clock. Poly was going to claim their 23rd consecutive win and advance to the state tournament. But the second the buzzer sounded, I got nothing. At best, a posed shot of the team as they flashed "number one" fingers for their parents. I didn't even move the photo.

I was a bit shocked. But that's sports. That's life. You never know what's going to happen and can't over think situations you know nothing about. It is what it is and when the stars don't align, you simply have to look forward to the next assignment.

Hope to see some more high school playoff action next week, but I am not holding my breath. Now I patiently await baseball season.