That day I photographed the President.

I was invited to the assignment in Madison by the Wisconsin Laborers' District Counsel. To prepare we scouted the day before checking the concrete training facility, lighting, the stage under construction, and all the pathways. It was on the shot list, would we get time with the president for portraits? I imagined I might direct a second or two or have a moment to thank him so I practiced saying "Mr. President". We hoped to get portraits with him and some union leaders, but despite the advance event team's early arrival, it was uncertain that could happen.

The day was about being ready for anything and always staying a step ahead. Security checks went smoothly. I was pleased I brought in more gear than a press photographer, because inside me there is an editorial photographer who wants to craft visual stories. I had an efficient pro lighting setup on wheels ready to go but I wouldn't get that opportunity. So, I parked it and got to work with a White House Press Pool pass and my camera. My dream job includes decisions about lighting, working with people on camera, even interviews. I would have been happy to say "one more please Mr President" but this was still a really good day! POTUS was in the house and I had an important gig.

There were still choices, a two tier riser was already packed with television crews and there was an open platform to the left for still photographers who hadn't arrived yet. Keeping my options open I set a tripod to save a spot nestled elbow to elbow with CNN. I could roam for a bit as the production was still taking shape and have a view to come back to. I spotted Pete Souza, former Official Chief White House Photographer so I noted, what's he doing?! After a little exchange, I decided on a forward facing view of President Biden, and went with the television riser perspective for the money shots. There are decisions in a photographers moments that are regrettable and this one felt like a big deal. Proudly I made a good one in a can't miss situation.


It's about reading the room, anticipating moves, and feeling reactions. I'm a second generation photographer, my dad calls it "Hurry up and wait." My story is about being a photographer.