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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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.

1601_14 WaHi vs Hanford Wrestling.ML._0043
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)
1601_14 WaHi vs Hanford Wrestling.ML._0421
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)
1601_12 MacHi vs Waitsburg Girls Basketball.ML._0471
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)
1601_06 Quicklane Feature.ML._0028
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)
1601_13 Homeless.ML._0040
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)
1601_14 Construcion VA_Panorama1
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)

Some of my favorite images from Walla Walla, Wa for the month of March.


Been fortunate enough to shoot around the Washington area and be part of amazing stories and wonderful people.
Here are some of my favorite images from my job at the Union Bulletin.

A Agroknight does a backflip during the Multicultural Magic show at Edison Elementary School. 06 Mar 14-  Michael Lopez Photo
A Agroknight does a backflip during the Multicultural Magic show at Edison Elementary School.
06 Mar 14- Michael Lopez Photo
Sherry Roberts feeds a squirrel for the first time at Pioneer Park by the aviary.
Sherry Roberts feeds a squirrel for the first time at Pioneer Park by the aviary.
Merrisa Trunkey fine tunes her painting which she has invested 40 plus hours for the upcoming Operetta in the China Pavilion at Walla Walla Community College.
Merrisa Trunkey fine tunes her painting which she has invested 40 plus hours for the upcoming Operetta in the China Pavilion at Walla Walla Community College.
Mandi Wendt sprinkles powder on top of the Ciabatta's  at the Weinhard Cafe in Dayton, Wa. The process to make Ciabatta's takes 24 hours, from preparing the dough to the moment it comes out of the oven.
Mandi Wendt sprinkles powder on top of the Ciabatta’s at the Weinhard Cafe in Dayton, Wa.
The process to make Ciabatta’s takes 24 hours, from preparing the dough to the moment it comes out of the oven.
Whitman's Sarah Anderegg nails the short jumper in her game against Chapman's   during the NCAA Division III Women's Tournament at Whitman College.
Whitman’s Sarah Anderegg nails the short jumper in her game against Chapman’s during the NCAA Division III Women’s Tournament at Whitman College.
Fireworks light up the sky celebrating the 19th anniversary of Wildhorse Casino in Pendleton, Oregon.
Fireworks light up the sky celebrating the 19th anniversary of Wildhorse Casino in Pendleton, Oregon.