The podium shot is important. It helps project confidence and strength. But up on a stage, behind a piece of wood, you are separated from your audience. In a time when we are craving authenticity and rejecting politics-as-usual, we should go for something different.
The most popular political photos I’ve taken weren’t close to the podium. Sometimes they’re even facing the opposite way. A State Senator shadowboxing in a dressing room before a big debate. A woman crying in the crowd because, for the first time, someone with the same skin color as she has a shot at the presidency.
The podium, the lights, the flags, and the fanfare are what we see on television. What I like to show most are the moments before and after. Politicians are often afraid of opening up and being real. They shouldn’t be.