Barack Obama leaving the stage on Election Night in Chicago after being reelected as the 44th President of the United States. ©Chris Maluszynski /MOMENT
Electing a US president is not a trivial affair. Neither is covering a presidential race – especially if you are not doing it for an influential US publication – but even then, as I have learnt from the photographers I met on the road. Those who travel with the candidates, their publications paying through the nose for the priviledge, still have quite limited access. Working for “The largest newspaper in Sweden” as I usually present myself to the campaign staff, doesn’t exactly open any doors, except for the occasional- “Oh yeah, my great aunt was swedish!”. So I inevitably end up stuck in the back of the room – withouth the heavy lenses that I stubbornly refuse to haul around, but that are needed to get any kind of shot from where I usually end up.

 

After a long campaign, in which I this time only participated at the beginning during the primaries, and then during the last intense week in Ohio, I finally found myself in the insane media circus at the McCormick Place Center in Chicago for Election Night. Again, confined to the press area – isolated not only from the stage but even from the public. My only lens other than the bright 50 and a wide angle, was a cheap plastic zoom that was very dark. So what to do? I was not getting any pictures from the “journalist cage” where I was cramped up between huge guys with huge lenses, and some decent sized egos and attitudes. This is the worst possible working condition I can imagine by the way. I get  all claustrophopic and just want to run. Then something happned on the stage and it got so crowded I was pushed and fell backwards – right on my ass – and as it turns out, also on my only bright lens that cracked as I hit the floor.  So now what to do? Obama entered the stage. The crowd was going wild. I started listening to his great speech and got inspired enough to take my only chance to get any pictures: I jumped the fence hoping Secret Service wouldn’t shoot me on the spot. The advantage of working with one small camera is that you look like anybody else. So I managed to get closer to the stage without getting shot, and in the end got a couple of frames of the newly reelected president, through the flying confetti. I especially like the shot of him leaving the stage, with the two blue and red pieces of confetti still in the air. It’s a bit symbolic to me. The party’s over, and there’s a lot of work ahead. My work is done. For this election at least.
Here’s a link to some more images from that night:

 

 

 (Bigger edit to come)