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All Eyes focus: 6 quick questions for photographer Charlie Kaijo, assigned to Trump's Inauguration and the D.C Women's March

 Attendees admire the U.S. Capitol building just before the start of the 58th Presidential Inauguration for President Elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. On Friday, January 20, 2017


Attendees admire the U.S. Capitol building just before the start of the 58th Presidential Inauguration for President Elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. On Friday, January 20, 2017

Covering 58th Presidential Inauguration and the Women's March




Chief Justice John G. Roberts swears in President Elect Donald Trump at the 58th Presidential Inauguration for President Elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. On Friday, January 20, 2017.

•Had you ever covered an inauguration before? Along with the Women's March the following day, had you been to back-to-back events like that?

No, I had never been to an inauguration. I had covered some of the protests Occupy held in and around California, but nothing on the size and scale to the events in D.C. this past weekend.




Dan Schramik of St. Petersburg, Fla. and Brandon Maly, 17, of Tampa pledge allegiance at a free Trump concert on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool on Thursday, January 19, 2017. Schramik was a co-chair to the Hillsborough County Donald Trump campaign and Brandon was an active participant in campaigning. This was their first time to get involved in a campaign. Maly is a senior at King High School in Tampa.

•What were some of the physical challenges to these events?

There was a lot of walking! I have a friend who recommended a phone app that measures your distance. I walked 10 miles the first day and about 12-13 miles the following day. I was using Google Earth to get around the city— to find a train, or the shortest path to walk. It's a dense city and walking seemed the fastest alternative.

I remember (Assistant Managing Editor) Boyzell Hosey's advice, telling me to be nimble. So, I concentrated on taking only essential equipment. I didn't take a laptop or a lot of extra cameras. I had a friend loan me his gun belt, and filled every pocket with lenses, memory cards, and anything else I would need.




A protestor tries to put a sign on the Man. Gen. James McPherson Statue in Franklin Square during the Women's March on Washington in Washington D.C. On Saturday, January 21, 2017.

• What were some of the technical challenges?

With all those people — not just the press, but everyone attending — there is not a lot of access to the internet. There is literally no signal available, so I would have to find an isolated area to get even a weak connection, and send my photos by email instead of uploading them to a protected server. It's a judgment call attempting not to miss anything important versus filing your work on dealine.




Protestors against President Elect Donald Trump convene south of City Center as Police monitor in downtown Washington D.C., hours before his inauguration on Thursday, January 19, 2017.

• Did you use social media very much?

Well I did submit work to Instagram and Twitter. And I used Persicope a few times. A few of my photos were shared along the way, but there wasn't a lot of comments offered, which was unusual.




Riot Officers issue an order to protestors to back off during a protest on 11th and M Street in Washington D.C., on Friday, January 20, 2017. No arrests were made at the site and the protest ended shortly after officers issued a warning for protestors to back off.

• Among your photos, there were a few moments of some real confrontation and potential violence. How do you weigh your safety against those moments?

Well, I'm always aware of my safety. I never try to put myself in danger, and I really have to be aware and judge the situation as it unfolds. For instance, I always try to stay in a group of photographers, with my photo tags (credentials) clearly in sight. The one factor that's hard to judge is when the police, or security involved, want to take the situation to the next level, and that's critical. They may want to use tear gas or pepper spray on the crowd. Confrontation is very fluid, but you just have to be aware.

For instance, I remember one time covering Occupy, that I was taking a photo and wanted a close up of a protestor that had been sprayed. Without warning, I was knocked to the ground by a cop — he must have thought I was interfering — but a couple of the Occupy protestors pulled me back out to safety.

I didn't sense that sort of confrontation here, but you have to be cautious as it happens.




Police fire tear gas into a crowd of protestors on K Street near 13th Street in Metro Center in Washington D.C. following President Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017

• If you were assigned to another inauguration, or offer advice to anyone else, what would you recommend?

Well, I wish I had known more about the credentialing process. I tried attending a number of events, but was held up by the difficulty in obtaining the correct press pass. For most of the inauguration events, the application was months in advance. And then, the credentials had to be picked up that day some place across town. And the process is different for every event — and not just the private parties — depending on which organization is in charge. I would recommend researching the process, you definitely just can't walk up with your normal press pass.


Times archives


Charlie Kaijo has interned with Tampa Bay Times since September 2016. Previously, he interned at the Arizona Republic as a Pulliam Fellow and Chips Quinn scholar and in 2011, participated in the New York Times Student Journalism institute. He grew up in Fresno, Calif. and studied photojournalism at California State University, Northridge.

All Eyes focus: 6 quick questions for photographer Charlie Kaijo, assigned to Trump's Inauguration and the D.C Women's March 01/23/17 [Last modified: Monday, January 23, 2017 9:52am]
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