Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

December 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Handshakes

Taking pictures at a political event is hard.

I’m a visually oriented person who started off my nascent journalism career (in junior high, in a “wet” lab) as a shooter, and I’ve always respected how much the right image can communicate about a story. But I gained a deeper appreciation for political photojournalism when I compared the pictures I took on the campaign trail with ones taken by CQ Roll Call Photo Editor Bill Clark and Photographer Tom Williams.

Parades make for good art in political campaigns. There are a lot of variables — from children running around, Shriners buzzing by in mini-cars and the opportunity for candidates to literally touch the people they are trying to woo to the ballot box. But it’s not a simple matter of pointing and shooting, particularly when a writer such as myself also is surveying the situation and attempting to construct a narrative about the event.

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November 17, 2014

The Photographer’s Guide to Food on the Road

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 The Photographers Guide to Food on the RoadNow that we’ve all had time to fully digest the midterm elections, and I’ve had time to get back to a regular diet after a week on the road in Arkansas and Louisiana, let’s talk food on the road.

When my editors propose a politics trip to a particular state, I immediately begin considering the native cuisine, or lack thereof, available at my destination. Here’s a look at the best and worst of my on-the-road dining this election cycle. Full story

By Bill Clark Posted at 2:33 p.m.
On the Road

November 14, 2014

Photos: Freshman Welcome Week

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Sen. Jerry Moran, K-Kan., brings a cake reading “Under New Management” to the Republican senate luncheons in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From showing Cornell University’s mascot the whole kingdom to kissing constituents, it was an eventful first week for many freshman on the Hill. Check out Roll Call’s photos of the week taken by Bill Clark and Tom Williams.

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October 21, 2014

Getting the Job Done in Media Scrums

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Getting the Job Done in Media ScrumsThere are many competitive photographers in D.C. I’ve learned from guys such as Stephen Crowley of The New York Times, Win McNamee of Getty and The Associated Press’ J. Scott Applewhite since I came here as an intern with six months of experience at my college newspaper. They don’t need to be the closest or most aggressive. They put some elements together, capture a moment, or catch a piece of light that will tie a picture together. Colleagues I respect will always try to be aware of where the other shooters are in a crowd and flash a “You OK?” look when they are close to being in your frame. I try to operate this way, too, but sometimes it can be difficult on the road.

Covering candidates in their home districts is an essential part of the job, but adapting to the style of the local visual journalists can be challenging. In D.C., there are so many still photographers that we have to work together so we don’t get in each other’s shots. A lot of journalists in smaller markets aren’t used to working in crowds, and I think they focus on what they need and not where others are.

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September 22, 2014

Behind the Photo: Mary Landrieu’s Keg-Stand Assist

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Landrieu holds a keg nozzle for a LSU football fan as he does a “keg stand” at a tailgate party on campus before the football game on Sept. 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Behind the Photo: Mary Landrieus Keg Stand AssistBATON ROUGE, La. — Soon after arriving in Louisiana to cover the Senate race, Roll Call Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad and I found out Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu would be campaigning at the massive alcohol-infused ritual that is Louisiana State University tailgating. With thousands of spirited football fans gathered for all day feasts on Cajun cuisine and every imaginable type of libation before the 6 p.m. kickoff of the LSU-Mississippi State game in Baton Rouge, I knew we were going to be witness to a spectacle with a high chance for the unexpected.

Thanks to the Southern hospitality of Fred and Lou of the Tequila Tigers tailgate crew, we were quickly invited into the fold when we arrived early at the first designated meeting spot on campus for Landrieu’s tour of the elaborate tailgate parties. Soon I spotted Landrieu’s entourage winding through the purple and yellow encampments. She moved quickly from group to group, saying hello, passing out campaign stickers, shaking hands and posing for photos. She even dared to approach what seemed like hostile territories, greeted with a chorus of boos or occasional shouts of, “Go back to Washington!”

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September 19, 2014

Fast Forward Friday: How a Photographer Uses Instagram’s Hyperlapse

Have you ever wished you could put Congress on fast forward? You can now, with the help of the Hyperlapse app from Instagram that’s now available for iPhone. (Sorry droids, you are going to have to wait.)

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve put this nifty little app to the test, and I love it. It shoots video at normal speed, then gives you the option to save or publish the video at normal speed to 12 times the speed.

Just imagine how much Congress could get done at 12 times the speed.

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August 19, 2014

Behind the Camera in Ferguson

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Behind the Camera in FergusonOn Aug. 14, I was in St. Louis with reporter Emily Cahn waiting to fly back to D.C. the next day. I knew about the protests in Ferguson and thought about going, but I had to file pictures from the Illinois State Fair and had little storage space on my computer after nine days in the Midwest for our Roll Call on the Road project.

I had also heard reports of street blockades and journalist arrests. I wasn’t familiar with the area from a logistical standpoint, I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of getting there.

Around the time I was thinking about it, Photo Editor Bill Clark sent me an email floating the idea of checking it out and that was all I needed to get going. Full story

By Tom Williams Posted at 2:39 p.m.
On the Road

August 14, 2014

Iowa: The Fair of Entourages

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Guests walk though the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa on August 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I attended the Iowa State Fair last week with Roll Call Politics Reporter Alexis Levinson to cover the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The candidates running for the seat are Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Senator Joni Ernst. I’ve have enjoyed taking photos of politicians at the fair in the past, but it proved tricky this time with the volume of people following them.

Braley delivered his stump speech on Thursday and then walked the grounds with a motley crew in tow, including: staff, reporters, filmmakers, opposition trackers, hecklers holding signs and random hangers-on. Luckily, I was the only still photographer from the media. However, if the candidate did something that would make a good picture, it was hard to get into position, and nearly impossible to exclude all the extraneous people. At that point, as a photographer, you have to try to make a photo that shows everything going on. Full story

August 7, 2014

#tbt: Intern Duties

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Part of Roll Call’s 1989 “continuing series of photos of dog-walking interns, here’s Jodie Martin, Diet Coke in hand, and Sen. Bob Dole’s pooch Leader on leash.” (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

A recent visit to the Roll Call archives uncovered this 1989 photo of a young Senate intern from University of California, Santa Barbara named Jodie Martin walking then-Minority Leader Bob Dole’s dog Leader 25 years ago this month.

We tracked her down thanks to the power of the Internet — she’s now Jodie Martin Ellis and works in the San Francisco Bay area.

Reached via email, Martin Ellis recalled that interns were not usually “thrilled” to be tasked with the duty of walking the Kansan’s appropriately named terrier, but on the day the photo was taken she was eager to get away from her desk.

“I’m a little foggy after all these years, but like most terriers, I believe Leader had a big attitude for a little dog,” Martin Ellis said, adding that unlike Dole, “Leader’s bark was bigger than his bite.” Full story

Day 2: Arizona, Why Do You Hate Photographers?

RollCall On the Road Logo300x300 Day 2: Arizona, Why Do You Hate Photographers?

I set my alarm to 6 a.m. the night before so I could get some pretty sunrise photos.

Problem #1: I wake up at 5 a.m., because, you know, its 8 a.m. in D.C.

Problem #2: The sun is already up.

Luckily, the coffee bar is open in the hotel. My new mission for the morning, while the light is still good, is an old mission. The Mission San Xavier del Bac, to be precise. This turned out to be the highlight of my day.

 

 

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By Bill Clark Posted at 11:20 a.m.
On the Road

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