Trump in Tampa: A rally seen through one lens
My individual assignment for the Donald Trump rally was to wander around the rally and make exclusive images, which I was more than happy to do. This was my second time photographing a Trump rally, and generally, they try to confine media to a pen on the floor that is at least 50 feet away from the podium where he speaks.
Sometimes, I get caught up with light and composition of my photography while people and moments sometimes fall to the wayside. Photojournalism is all about people, so I’ve been trying to work on this and focus on the individuals with portraits. I decided to really focus on portraits at the Trump rally, and I talked to several people about why they supported him. The portraits reveal the variety of Trump supporters, showing an array of ages, races and genders that came out to support the Republican frontrunner.
I, and reporter Adam Smith, also had the opportunity to briefly meet with Trump backstage. Although he postponed the scheduled interview until after the rally, as he was running over 30 minutes late, I was still able to chat and create a couple of exclusive pictures. I was allowed to photograph backstage and directly in front of the podium when he was speaking, where no other media was allowed. It was surreal to meet Trump backstage, to shake his hand and see him up close, caked with makeup. I’ve seen his face and heard his voice more than any other candidate, and to be alone in the room with him and one secret service agent was a truly bizarre experience.
He was very warm to Adam and me, a personality that vastly differs from his on-stage attitude toward journalists. Although he insults the media on stage, I think he knows that we (the media) are the only reason he’s in this race. The coverage we give him has propelled him toward the GOP nomination, and his generosity and friendliness backstage only confirms the fact that he knows exactly what he’s doing.