Chicago, Illinois: Two agents were posted outside this generic campaign office, and the simplicity of the setting and placement of the agents caught my eye. I took about 10 frames, and then one agent looked up. The juxtaposition of the agents was visually interesting and unique to me. For White House news photographers, a lot of what we do is orchestrated in advance. “Different” images can be few and far between. To capture a photo that is not preconceived or influenced by the political image makers is quite satisfying. Taking these photos is one of the greatest challenges in this kind of work.
At the end of the day, the job of a Secret Service Presidential Protective Detail agent and a White House press travel pool photographer are not all that different. We go everywhere the President goes, we are ready to react to anything that might happen to the President, we think on our feet, we spend lots of hours waiting, we spend a lot of time on the road, we work strange hours and we are very close with our colleagues. Of course there some major differences. While we watch the President the agents scan the crowd. We carry cameras and they carry guns. Oh, they also tend to look a whole lot sharper than we do….those suits, haircuts and sunglasses do not come cheap.
Secret Service agents keep watch as President Obama visits a Pat Quinn campaign office in Chicago, October 20, 2014.