Liveshots, cut-ins, break-ins, and superfluous tap-dancing. Anytime the President comes to town it becomes an "All Hands On Deck" situation. It's not everyday you get to play host to one of most poweful people in the world. However, Michiana has played host to President Bush 7 times before.
I'm not a Presidential rookie. I've done pretty much every aspect of a presidential visit. I've been on the risers following the President's moves. I've been sitting in the truck watching my fellow teammate follow the President around the stage. (that's what I was doing on 9/11. Talk about a front seat to history!) And, I've even stood on the side of the road recording the attempts of protestors trying to make an impression in the 10 seconds it takes for the motorcade to zoom past.
This time Sapphoto got to sit on a wide open airport tarmac with 20º temps and 20mph winds to bring you and our loyal viewers the arrival and departure of Air Force One. Part of you becomes used to the pomp and hardened to the circumstances. All five of my "loyal" photog readers have most likely been through a Secret Service security sweep before so I'll save you the torture. Actually, this time wasn't too bad. It was the White House lead person who left us in a tight spot. Oh well, everything worked on the first try. Good thing too. There wasn't time for trouble shooting before the Presidential Bird loomed LARGE over the eastern horizion, and the IFB exploded with the hurried voice of the producer, "AF1 is coming at you and we're live on your shot."
This trip wasn't anything ground-breaking. The president was in town to help congressman Chris Chocola raise money for this year's campaign.
I kept my camera trained on the blue and white VC-25 as it touched down on the secured runway. Once the plane taxied and parked, I waited for the door to open and the President to emerge.
Being the professionally forged photographer that I am, I captured the "money shot"(our anchor's term) of the President waving to the four or five cameras located on the flatbed semi-trailer that was our stage.
Pretty routine, huh?
The one thing though...Did I really see him? I may have had my picture taken with the plane, but did I really see the President? I don't think I saw him with my naked eye until I made it a point to look when he departed our fair city.
You see I find myself asking this question after I've seen some of the coolest things ever. Did I really see that? When I look back with my mind's eye, I see a black and white picture of the person/event with the battery percentage, filter number, and VU meter. I did make sure I pointed the digital camera at the President when I ducked out from behind the camera...at least the picture my memory will be in color.