Presidential Photography with Kevin Ames

Posted by: on Feb 4, 2014
Photo by Kevin Ames
Senator Obama outside VFW Post 1772 in Rochster, NH.
©Kevin Ames

Post written by Kevin Ames

There are times that photography opens a door where shooting tethered isn’t welcome or even possible. During the spring of 2008 I was fortunate to accompany well-known photojournalist, Rick Friedman, on the campaign trail during the presidential primaries. It was a whirlwind. The first day we followed soon-to-be President Barack Obama to a Veterans of Foreign Wars post and then on to the Portsmouth newspaper headquarters to talk about healthcare and insurance.

Photo by Kevin Ames.
Candidate Obama addresses veterans concerning healthcare during the 2008 primary campaign.
©Kevin Ames.

Obama speaks on insurance reform at the Portsmouth Herald newspaper in New Hampshire. Photo by Kevin Ames.
Obama speaks on insurance reform at the Portsmouth Herald newspaper in New Hampshire.
©Kevin Ames.

Barack Obama responds to a question about health insurance during a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, NH early in the 2008. Photo by Kevin Ames.
Barack Obama responds to a question about health
insurance during a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, NH early in the 2008.
©Kevin Ames.

My time on the trail went on throughout New Hampshire. to include candidates Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. 

Photo by Kevin Ames
2008 Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney campaigning
during the New Hampshire primaries.
©Kevin Ames

Photo by Kevin Ames
Hillary Clinton speaking to a campaign rally in New Hampshire during the 2008 presidential primaries.
©Kevin Ames

My favorite story of the experience took place in New Hampshire’s capital of Concord. Rick, Governor Huckabee’s wife Janet, Chuck Norris and his wife Gena O’Kelly and I were jaywalking over to the next event when a county sheriff’s car pulled up.

“Busted,” I thought.

But when Chuck leaned over the window and the deputies said, “You’re Chuck Norris!” I knew we were all in the clear.

Photo by Kevin Ames
Chuck Norris saves us from a jaywalking bust while Janet Huckabee listens in.
©Kevin Ames

Chuck Norris (L) introduces Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (far R) at the New Hampshire Veterans’ Home in Concord as his wife Gena O’Kelly and Janet Huckabee look on. Photo by Kevin Ames.
Chuck Norris (L) introduces Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (far R) at the New Hampshire Veterans’ Home in Concord as his wife Gena O’Kelly and Janet Huckabee look on.
©Kevin Ames.

Photographers may not get rich dollar-wise but we do live very rich lives. Photography opens doors and welcomes its practitioners into places that others watch on webcasts or as a package on television. I work to make situations as controlled as I can to ensure that my clients get exactly what they are paying me to create. This control always includes shooting tethered, except of course when that singular door swings open wide with an opportunity so good that I can’t resist stepping through to shoot what ever is there tethered or not.

Happy Presidents Day!

Kevin Ames is based in Atlanta whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Time and The Wall Street Journal. He’s also a commercial photographer who has shot for Coca-Cola, AT&T, Westin Hotels, Honda and more.

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