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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D.C. Shootoff


This weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of a amazing staff of military staff and students with the DC Shootoff 2016 at the Navy League Building in Arlington, Va.

 

One-Hundred and seven students both online and in person attended this three day course where we listened to amazing people like Parker Gyokeres, Bennie Davis, the always inspirational Mary Calvert, Chip Maury, Jim Bryant, and Aaron Ansarov just to name a few.

The students were inspirational and eager to learn, and the competition was stiff. This years topic was FOUNDATION, and to be a part of this group, and mentor these military visual journalists from all branches of the service is truly a blessing.

Not only did we all grow together, we formed bonds that will be part of our lives. We have a new found love, friendship, and family.

If you ever get a chance to go to one of these workshops, I highly recommend it.

Feel free to follow them and their work.

A week in Black and White


Black and White photos.ML.019
Walking around downtown Walla Walla you see so many different types of people and attire.
A pedestrian jogs across East Main Street in downtown Walla Walla.
A pedestrian jogs across East Main Street in downtown Walla Walla.
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Students do their homework enjoy the early morning sun under the chihuly chandelier in the Reid Campus center.
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A morning ritual for many in town is to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and good conversations at Starbucks on East Main Street and First Avenue.
The Memorial Building at Whitman College.
The Memorial Building at Whitman College.
The Windows on the Past mural at Heritage Park on East Main Street.
The Windows on the Past mural at Heritage Park on East Main Street.
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Whitman College’s Caitlin Scott enjoys the brisk early morning to go for a run at Mill Creek in Walla Walla, Wa.
The sun peaks out of the clouds at Bennington Lake.
The sun peaks out of the clouds at Bennington Lake.

Lately I’ve found myself in a little of a slump since the Pacific Northwest has been covered with rain and clouds for the majority of the winter.
One day, sitting on my couch, a little lonely and depressed. I decided to finish reading my book by Ansel Adams and another one by Robert Frank.

Not only did I get engrossed into the black and white photography, I decided put away my huge DSLR and grab my Fuji X100s. It is sleek, and easy to handle. Everyday, even while on assignment with the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, I would stop and look at the world in Black and White and found a whole new love and appreciation for my photography.

Granted I put my camera in Black and White mode focusing on the red tint for clouds and added +2 on my EV and off I went.

Walking around Walla Walla, made me see people, and buildings in a whole new light. It brought love, and passion back to me, and I began seeing contrast, and shapes, moments.
Forcing myself to see in two tones made me in my own way a better photographer, and a gave me a greater appreciation for the colors, and light that surrounds us.

If you ever start getting bored and need a quick pick me up, I recommend shooting in black and white, and looking at shadows, and lights.

Also, please feel free to share with me as well.


 

 

 

Images from January


Here are some of my favorite images I have been capturing for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
Working with the Union-Bulletin gives me the opportunity to shoot more than just one topic of imagery. There are days I can photograph sports, features, news, and art. So my passion is fulfilled and I am fortunate enough to get paid to do what I love.

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The Blue Devils Salvador Gutierrez watches as Hanford’s wrestler is injered Thursday night at Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Wa. 14 January 2016 (MICHAEL LOPEZ/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
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The Blue Devils Justin Evans points his finger up in the air after beating Hanford Thursday night at Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Wa. 14 January 2016 (MICHAEL LOPEZ/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
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Waitsburgs Chloe Pearson, No. 32, winces in pain after going for a loose ball in her game against the Pioneers Tuesday night at the Mac-Hi gym in Milton-Freewater, Or. 12 January 2016 (MICHAEL LOPEZ/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
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Ross Eickering uses a steam machine to take the decals off the windows of Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Wednesday afternoon at the corner of North Colville and East Rose Street in Walla Walla, Wa. 06 January 2016 (MICHAEL LOPEZ/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
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Rev. Nathaniel Mahlberg, right, talks to Kevin Partin, Spiderman sweater, on the stoop of the First Congregational Church after a fight taken place there Wednesday afternoon at 73 South Palouse Street in Walla Walla, Wa. 13 January 2016 (MICHAEL LOPEZ/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
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The interior of one of the buildings in construction Thursday afternoon at the Walla Walla Veterans Affairs officer buildings in Walla Walla, Wash.. 14 January 2015 (MICHAEL LOPEZ/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)