Photographing a Presidential Candidate


What a amazing turn of events. I wake up early March 24, 2016 and find a email from Reuters asking me if I want to photograph U.S. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders that same day in Yakima, Wa..

Not only is it 2 hours away, I also work that evening. (sigh) I call my boss and ask him if he wants to shoot it since I have a football game to photograph. The great thing is, he was totally cool about it and let me go shoot.

So here comes the prepping. What do I need to do to prepare?

First, download PhotoMechanic since it wasn’t on my work laptop. Get my lens selections down, including a Nikon D700, 24-70mm ƒ2.8, 70-200mm ƒ2.8 and a 70-300mm variable lens. Notebook, extra pens, two card readers (in case one fails), and two cell phones.

I get there 3 hours early to set up, and get through Secret Service. They are nice to be honest. Treat them with respect, listen to their directions and you don’t get choke slammed…

Then walk around, get some feature art, and wait for U.S. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders to show up.
I can’t express how professional Secret Service was, and how nice the people from Yakima, Wa. really are.

Once I got setup, it went by quick. Set up on top of a step ladder and nailed some photographs of Bernie Sanders as he walked in saying hi to the local chapter of Native Americans on his way to his podium.

The shooting went fast and furious. Shot from a step ladder, then was led by Secret Service to the front of his podium, and around back, and after that, moved to the sides, and back of the room to cover all angles, and ideas I had drawn up mentally in the three hours I was waiting for him to speak.

It’s always smart to have a plan. In this case, talking to the right people to get a little access went a long way.
Remember to always be respectful, tactful and polite. It will lead to to locations and information that can set you up to a nice moment, and photographic opportunity.

Here are some of the images I took for my very first Presidential Candidate rally.

Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
A attendee flashes a sign in support of Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders before he speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Attendees that showed up early surf the net before Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Attendees flash signs in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders before he speaks at a campaign event in Yakima
Attendees flash signs in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders before he speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders greets Native Americans
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders greets Native Americans as he enters the Yakima Valley Sundome in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
A attendee flashes a sign in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders before he speaks at a campaign event in Yakima
A attendee flashes a sign in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders before he speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Yakima, Washington March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Lopez
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