political photography

US Congress Candidate Headshot with Alexis Johnson in Santa Fe New Mexico

US Congress Candidate Headshot with Alexis Johnson in Santa Fe New Mexico

Santa Fe on location political candidate photos

I continue to add to the number of politicians and candidates I have photographed in 2019, ranging from the U.S. Surgeon General to the Governor of New Mexico, to most recently Alexis Johnson running for U.S. Congress NM District 3 in Santa Fe. Alexis had a very busy schedule, but it worked out that right after I finished two drone flights already in Santa Fe, her schedule was open as well and we met outside on location and in less than 30 minutes made this headshot and portrait. I am accustomed to making photos in time constraints, and had my full studio headshot setup save for the background, as I just used an existing wall for that. Then it was a quick change of setup to go make a portrait with a greener background. It was a quick shoot, but we made the most of it for sure.

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Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams Event Photography in Santa Fe New Mexico

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams Event Photography in Santa Fe New Mexico

Hello U.S. Surgeon General!

On a Sunday afternoon in I was walking into the Santa Fe Convention Center to photograph an event for ACOMS and to my great surprise I learned I was photographing the actual U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams! I was told I would only be photographing a presenter and then some candids of the vendor area. This was not my first time photographing a prominent political figure. In Florida in 2011 I had the chance to spend a day photographing then U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. I have also photographed three governors, a U.S. Senator, U.S Representatives, and at least 3 mayors.

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Albuquerque Event Photography NAWBO 17th Annual Legislative Speak Out

Albuquerque Event Photography NAWBO 17th Annual Legislative Speak Out

Politicians discuss a topic then rotate!

It was a very interesting evening photographing the NAWBO 17th Annual Legislative Speak Out in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Embassy Suites by Hilton. This event featured an innovative format where people running for and currently in political office sat at a table with attendees to have a discussion based on three presentations given by different speakers. After each presentation the politicians would get up and rotate to another table getting to know and converse with another group of people. This was a very clever idea and the conversations I heard were all civil and constructive! Thank you Sue and DJ for bringing me on as the photographer for this very unique event!

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Photographing Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis - what it was like

Secretary Solis is not in this image due to restrictions on usage.

(editor's note:  There are no photographs of Hilda Solis in this post because I have not exactly been granted permission to use them in such a way yet, and may not be.)

Last Friday I received a phone call of a sudden asking if I would be available to photograph U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on Tuesday.  I said, sure I can do it!  She would be the highest level government official by far that I would have the opportunity to photograph.  The previous high was a city level mayor.

Photography-wise, this would not be a new assignment as I have photographed many of these types of roundtable events before.  The Secretary would be attending two roundtables, one at the Port of Tampa (very cool building surprisingly) and then another at Centro Asturiano in downtown Tampa.  My job was just to photograph her speaking at these events with a focus on images of her with the attendees.  

When I arrived at the Port of Tampa at 11:20am it felt like a different photography gig.  I could feel the anticipation in everyone already on site.  I went through no special security or anything like that, and accepting the job was just a matter of saying, "yes, I will do it," in an e-mail reply.  I was hoping to get some kind of clearance badge or something like that to keep as a souvenir!

The Secretary entered the roundtable room with no fanfare or introduction.  She seemed very happy to meet and greet people on her way to her seat.  Now you might think photographing someone sitting at a table is the easist thing in the world to photograph.  It is not.  People make lots of facial gestures while speaking, only about 10% of which are flattering!  Most of the time if you freeze the look on someone's face while they are talking it will look funny.  So it takes quite a few shots to get one to look proper.  

After the discussion, which I enjoyed, it was time for what the Department of Labor called "grip and grin" shots, where Secretary Solis shakes hands and poses for a photo with the various guests in attendance.  I thought it a very funny term.  

All these repeated at the second location of the day.  Then Secretary Solis was whisked away to the airport for a flight to Ft. Lauderdale for presumably another day of meeting with the public like this.  I think it must be a very good feeling for people to be so happy to meet you and have you them tell you their sincere desires for what they need to improve the local community you happen to be in.  It also must be extremely exhausting to have your attention so sought after day after day.  

I was impressed by how carefully Secretary Solis listened to everyone's issues and concerns.  I saw her and her staff feverishly writing notes and making reminders for follow ups with the appropriate channels.  This was most impressive.  

When Secretary Solis returns to the Tampa Bay area I look forward to the opportunity to photograph her in action again.