Last week I was assigned to photograph President Trump during his visit to Manchester, NH.
I try to bring all gear I might need on the first trip to the site. Quite often it is a very long walk from the parking lot to the press entrance. Once you are inside you don’t want to go back out, or you may not be allowed to go back out through security. After you go through the press entrance, you proceed to press check-in, where you are issued your press pass for the day. Often there are long lines to wait in as credentials are verified. You have to be pre-approved and on the list from the White House in order to be issued the credential. You then have all of your equipment checked by Secret Service. They check every piece of equipment, fire the cameras, look through the lens, check every pouch and turn on your computer. They then wand you and pat you down.
After screening, it can be another long walk to the press area. Finding the right way for you to move all your equipment long distances can make getting to the assignment much easier.
Finding the Right Angle
When you arrive a the press area, the first thing you do is figure out what is the best angle for when the President comes on to the stage. Then you look for secondary shots and can you get there once the event has started. Your movements are extremely limited by White House staff and Secret Service. All the while scanning the room for other notables. At this event, the First Lady and the Attorney General were there, too.
What to Bring With You
On an event like this, I tend to work with three cameras, four lenses, and two extenders. I have a 24-70mm, 70-200mm and a 300mm on each body. All f/2.8 lenses.
I often put the 2x extender on my 300, giving me a 600mm and the 1.4 extender on my 70-200, giving me a 280mm lens. Using a monopod helps support the weight of a long lens during a long shoot. There is a 17-35mm and a speedlight in a pouch on my belt in case we are allowed to get up close.
I have my computer set up with the basic information already written so I can file quickly.
Equipment used to Photograph the President
Nissin Di700 A
Apple MacBook Pro