Yes, He Can.
You can see it now. It’s not from policy or polls or pundits, but from a gut feeling. It’s coming from a purely visual person who has covered politics for a few elections now. This guy will be running for president someday. He has the look, the cute kids that make cute photos, the bigger-than-life speech, the story, the beautiful wife, and a following of dark-blue suit and heels and mini-dress clad fans ready to anoint him. I’m not a fan of talking politics, and I try to avoid it, like I will…right….now. I’m just saying, if I were a betting man…all-in.
Usually photos from an event overhype what an event really was like. It’s our job to find the best possible photo from the worst possible situation. In fact, most of the time if we photographed what it actually was – like six supporters, craptacular light, horrible backgrounds, and handshake, then we probably would never get hired again. Sometimes, though, an event really is as big as it seems. Marco Rubio’s celebration party after winning his Senate seat last night was just that. Insane. Almost fish-in-barrel. I just needed to figure out which barrel to shoot into.
I’m a big fan of photographing politics, especially when an event with killer light, tons of people, oversaturated colors, and confetti. In Miami. The hard part as always is trying to get something different from the other really talented shooters on either side of you are getting. That takes restraint, patience, and the risk to move away. That can be the hardest part. Risk getting beat and an editor in NY wondering where you were when “that” happened.
Worked out this time…ran on A1 of The New York Times today: here.
Tell you what else sometimes covering politics in Florida means: My day starts at 4:30am. Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte. Drive hour to St. Petersburg to shoot Gov. Charlie Crist voting. Get grief for not bringing coffee for all the shooters there. Send from a Starbucks. More coffee and a donut. Drive an hour to Thonotosassa (where?). Cover Gov. candidate Alex Sink voting and presser. Send from the passenger seat of a photog friend’s car in the rain. Sub. Diet Coke. Drive nearly five hours to Miami. Early to event. Plan your attack. Rip up plan. Credentials. New plan. Wifi down, mifi not working. Scramble, scramble. Shoot, worry about it later. Later happens. Shoot. Shoot. Try to send. Fellow photogs help out sending issue. Rubio comes early. So do a couple extra thousand people. Plan changes. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. Run to lobby. Send. Make deadline. Editor emails you and says you’re A1 and nice job. Breathe sigh of relief. Grab a drink. Decompress. Drive 4 hours home. 600 miles and 20 hours later…sleep. Wake up and do it all over again.
Oh, and post to blog and Photoshelter.
More photos: here.