- Landrieu Claims Parents' Home as Her Voting Address
- Lawyers Present Closing Arguments in McDonnell Trial
- O'Malley Offers Staff to South Carolina Democrats
- White House Now Insists Obama Has a Strategy for ISIS
- Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
Posts by Tom Williams
August 19, 2014
On 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.
August 14, 2014
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
July 15, 2014
Although it seems there’s not much to these pictures, it is a major victory in the effort to photograph the back-to-back weekly news conferences of Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on the Hill.
The House leaders normally host a press conference every Thursday in Studio A of the Capitol Visitor Center. They speak alone from a lectern and it normally looks the same every week, except for what they’re wearing.
Pelosi’s avail is held first and usually wraps up at about 11:20 a.m., to allow some time before Boehner’s which starts at 11:30. As I was setting up a shot of her walking out, which wasn’t shaping up to be much, I realized Pelosi was ending late and Boehner would be there at any moment. I thought there was a good chance of them passing each other.
June 16, 2014
When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor unexpectedly lost his primary, I knew the next day would be a media zoo on Capitol Hill.
As a photographer, the first priority was to get a picture of Cantor. The most likely time to see him would be when he arrived to the Capitol. However, the one reporter who saw him told me he came in through the Senate carriage entrance. Most people were staked out at the center door of the Capitol on the East Front, which is his usual route.
The route change was an indication he didn’t want to be seen and we probably weren’t going to be able to take a picture of him. I don’t think any other press members saw him until his news conference later in the day.
June 3, 2014
This trip through Mississippi had a lot of challenges. Missing candidates, late schedules and zealous handlers can make it tough to get informative and creative images, and this swing through the Magnolia State might have generated more stories than art.
I was looking forward to covering Senate candidate Chris McDaniel because his campaign events sounded promising. We arrived bright and early in Philadelphia, Miss., at gas station/diner for a sit down with some locals at 7 a.m. While we were waiting, my colleague Kyle Trygstad interviewed a friendly gentleman (almost everyone I met was friendly) who told us the campaign had informed the locals that McDaniel wouldn’t be coming.
So we moved on for the next scheduled event, at an equipment auction outside of town. With the visuals of excavators, bulldozers and people bidding, I thought this had the potential to illustrate a campaign in the rural South. Soon we saw a McDaniel volunteer, who informed us that the candidate wouldn’t be attending this event either. Apparently, there was something wrong with the bus.
The two cancellations didn’t help me, but it did make a really good story for Kyle.
May 23, 2014
I had the privilege of photographing some World War II vets this week. One 98-year-old gentleman was a co-pilot in the initial bombing runs over Japan. He was retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, a member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, who is originally from Ohio. The Raiders were B-25 bomber pilots who volunteered for the first offense action against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
May 16, 2014
People were very emotional at the first Peace Officer Memorial after 9/11. The thing I remember is that Ofc. Molina held her salute throughout the reading of the New York officers killed in the attacks, with the majority being from the Port Authority and the NYPD. Most put their hands down at some point. I kept thinking she physically couldn’t keep her arm up because it would be impossible to hold — but she did.
In 2001, 233 law enforcement officers gave their lives in the line of duty. Of those 233 Officers, 71 were killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks against the United States.
May 13, 2014
May 9, 2014
I was in the Capitol on Wednesday, making my way to the House side for an event. I decided to walk across the East Front — just in case I ran into something. It would have been just as easy to walk inside, but you never know what you’re going to find outside. There was a big group gathered on House steps with members of Congress talking and taking pictures. I saw some stylish women and I thought they might be famous, so I stopped to inquire. They weren’t, but I was told that there were former pro athletes in the group so I knew that would make a picture if I could cut though the people milling about, get to the principles and line it up.
I honed in on Metta World Peace because he was the most famous of the bunch and I knew if I made a good frame, he would be in it. And I knew I needed him with a member. I shot about 30 frames of him in various stages of conversation, but none worked because the people around him made it messy.
He and another athlete, Keith Mitchell (I had to ask him who he was — hey, they wear helmets in the NFL) finally drifted to where the background was clean and the Dome was in sight, and they were talking to members. I realized that combination was the best I was going to get, so I fired off another round of frames and got some nice interaction with everyone clearly visible. The guy with the camera jumped in for a few seconds and initially annoyed me, but I think it’s fine because he isn’t blocking anything and also helps add to the energy of the scene.