This is not a political post, it's an origin story.
Once up on a time there was a kid who grew up in Maine. (For argument's sake, let's say that it was me.) He liked his hometown and all, but couldn't shake the feeling that everything was happening somewhere else. He didn't know anything more specifically, except that sometimes his little corner of the world felt like the outer rim, far away from the center of the galaxy. (Yes, that was a Star Wars reference.) I'm not saying that this is accurate, fair, or right, but it's just what he was feeling. Really important things (again he wasn't sure what) just didn't happen in Orono, Maine.
One day in 1992, during his (probably) Junior year of high school, he finds out that someone important (he suspects) is coming to the University of Maine to speak. Hillary Rodham Clinton was stumping for her husband, Bill Clinton, who was running for President. Not only was someone important 'from away' coming to town, but the venue was 200 yards from his house. His little corner didn't seem so remote anymore.
I can't remember the details, except that obviously I called someone, told them I was representing my high school newspaper, and secured press credentials. I do remember going through the secret service checkpoint (THE Secret Service!!), past the bomb sniffing dogs, and being allowed into the press photo pit up front. I remember sitting cross-legged shoulder to shoulder with the Bangor Daily News photographers. I remember my legs and my butt falling asleep. I remember wondering if I should use flash or not. But mostly I remember feeling like I was actually being taken seriously. While this was just another stop along a long slog for the campaign, it was personally historic for me.
I've shot HRC, and many many other politicians in the more than twenty years since this picture was made. Mostly in step-and-repeats (the assembly line of the photo industry) and now this sort of thing feels, well, a bit tedious. I realize that it's part ofthe same machinery whether it's politics, Hollywood, or sports. It's the grind that keeps things churning, for better or worse. These days, my work involves more interacting with and learning from the subject, but the thrill of working with people who are at the apex of their professions is still there. I don't feel like Orono is the edge of the galaxy anymore (New Brunswick is a lovely place) but sometimes we need to step away from our own center of gravity to look at, and appreciate it from away.
- B&W image made with Minolta x-700 and Rokinon (I think) 80-200 f4.5. Film was probably Tri-X pushed a stop but I may have gotten fancy and shot T-Max 400 pushed.
- Photo of Photo: iPhone6
- Beer: Flying Dog limited edition Denali Imperial IPA.