Straw Poll / Bachmann

This recent story on NYT reminded me that I never posted my photos from the Iowa Straw Poll. While I covered every candidate I could find, I spent a good deal of time in Michele Bachmann's tent and camped outside her bus waiting for results. This was also the first real test of my shiny new Mk IV, which dangles from one shoulder while an old Mk II hangs out on the other. The photo above, I regretted not switching my long glass to the Mk IV. Even though we're always shooting for galleries, I still kept in my mind just needing ONE good shot, just in case she wins..

Most of the candidates had 20 minutes to speak inside Hilton Coliseum, which gave me a good chance to get safe shots of everyone.

Being in the "wrong place" served me pretty well. There were press risers in Bachmann's tent, but I was looking for a different angle. I walked around the tent with photo pal Andrea Melendez of the Register, asking anyone with a volunteer shirt if they had any information that could help us. Somehow we ended up behind the stage, with a completely different view of Michele and Marcus dancing, as well as the other photo above, where we were in front of the stage before the rest of the media had caught up.

We knew there would be confetti... this was definitely a matter of laying on the shutter and hoping for a clear view of her face.

The sequence below is far more than I'd usually share, but I thought the timing was interesting. I had walked past Ron Paul's tent but there was no action, so I headed to Bachmann's bus and joined the pack of journalists waiting for results. The pack kept growing, especially after her victory was announced, until it was obvious that I couldn't change position even if I wanted. We got word that the audio inside Hilton was being torn down, so Bachmann would be speaking in front of her bus. More waiting while they set up a step stool and mic. The police officer in front was photographed by all of us, as we tried to work out exposures in the strong evening light.

6:13:54 - first sighting after waiting for... 30 minutes? The pack of photographers moved together, swaying one direction then the next, as we all tried to get a clear shot.

6:14:05 - reaction as she sees young fans standing right in front of me. The hands were perfect in both frames.

6:14:58 - brief statement to press and supporters, including her standard "one term President!" line.

6:26:13, after she worked her way around the line. As it was impossible to move in the crowd, I chose to wait it out for her departure rather than try to get more photos with supporters.

File by 7, pack up and go find food for the first time since 7 a.m. Yup, I kind of love caucus season.