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November 26, 2014

Posts in "Behind the Photo"

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

LAPOL14 302 092014 445x295 Behind the Photo: Mary Landrieus Keg Stand Assist

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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July 15, 2014

Small Victories

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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.

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May 28, 2014

Behind the Photo: Bill Clark’s Favorite Photos

Nevada Reid 07 110110 Behind the Photo: Bill Clarks Favorite Photos

Click on photo to enlarge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In this installment of our “Behind the Photo” series, photographer Bill Clark discusses his favorite photos he’s taken over years on Capitol Hill and on the road.

Clark describes the award-winning photo he took in Las Vegas while waiting for a Harry Reid rally to start. “Michelle Obama was coming to campaign for Harry Reid and she was running a few hours late.” Everyone, including journalists who came to cover the event had “nothing to do,” he said. Clark spotted a few women posing with a TIME magazine cover with the first lady on the cover. “I just started taking pictures trying to amuse myself waiting for the main event to happen,” Clark said.

Clark talked about a photo project where he followed Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., from a week before he was elected all the way through his first year in Congress. “It’s a great way to get to know a member of Congress,” Clark said. The toughest part of a project like this one, he said, is “just getting it off the ground.” The biggest challenge is getting the member’s press person on board and getting top staffers to OK the project. “Just having the cooperation from the start” is key, Clark said. “I don’t follow him every day,” he explained. “Every week, or two weeks I’ll find and event or a hearing he’s participating in and try to grab a photo.”

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May 21, 2014

Behind the Photo: Tom Williams’ Favorite Photos

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Representative John Boehner, R-Ohio, smokes a cigarette after a news conference in Sterling, Va., on September 23, 2010. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In this installment of our “Behind the Photo” series, photographer Tom Williams discusses his favorite photos he’s taken over years on Capitol Hill.

Williams has made a tradition of sending friends, via social media, archive photos that he’s captured from moments around the hill on their birthdays. “I just had all these pictures accumulated that maybe I got around to email the person, maybe I didn’t,” Williams said. “Pictures of staff and pictures of the reporters are, a lot of times, the best pictures you got out of the event. … So when someone’s birthday comes up, that’s a great way to get that image out there.”

Williams reveals the story behind his award-winning photo of Gabrielle Giffords coming back to congress the first time after recovering from an attack where gunman shot her in the head. “There were some cops accumulating there, giving me a really hard time about being there,” Williams explained. According to Williams, he told the Capitol Police officer “I’m not going down that hallway.”

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May 1, 2014

Behind the Photo: Bill Clark

 Behind the Photo: Bill Clark

Bill Clark

Photo Editor Bill Clark’s career in photojournalism began in the late 1980s, when he started as a photo researcher for US News & World Report. His first staff photographer job was at the Marietta Daily Journal. He then moved to the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia and soon became the chief photographer at the Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Va. He has been covering Washington, D.C., since 2000 and he has been a Roll Call staff member since 2006. The National Press Photographers Association, White House News Photographers Association, Virginia News Photographers Association and Pictures of the Year International have given Bill numerous awards for his photography.

In the second installment of our series, “Behind the Photo,” Clark talks about his editorial judgment on when and where he takes photos. Clark describes how he can catch congressmen outside of planned appearances by being strategically placed on the Hill.

In talking about his work at Roll Call, Clark says that the photography team has been allowed to “step back” and cover the Hill “as a community.”

“We can take a lot of chances,” Clark says.

Watch Bill Clark discuss his editorial judgment and what he does when a congressman stumbling down the steps is caught on camera.

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Behind the Photo: Tom Williams

 Behind the Photo: Tom Williams

Tom Williams

Tom Williams has been covering Washington for Roll Call since 2000 and is an award-winning photographer. Since he started at Roll Call, he has covered a number of major stories, including races for the White House and Senate seats, the Gulf Coast oil spill and national party conventions. He has been interested and involved in photography since he was a teenager and he used his friends and family, especially his grandfather, as his subjects to photograph. Full story

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