Quite the Opportunity

It is not every day I have an opportunity to photograph the First Lady!

For the past couple years, I have helped a friend photograph an annual charity luncheon. A few weeks ago, it was announced that the First Lady would speak at this year's event.  I thought it might be interesting to describe how the day of the luncheon went for the photographers covering the event.

The luncheon (over 2,500 people) was scheduled to begin at 11:30 with the First Lady to speak at about 12:20.  I had to arrive at 8:15 to leave my equipment in place so it could be screened by the Secret Service.  I arrived back at 10:30, at 10:45 the media was escorted to our positions.  I was situated about 100 feet from the podium, on a metal platform about 10 feet in the air.  We stayed in that position until the event was done - no chairs, no meal.  When the event was finished, at about 1:15, we were again escorted out of the assembly hall.

The only images we could take were from the position on the platform.  No wondering around the tables, no side views, just the view from the platform.  So much for originality ... until after her speech, Michelle Obama decided to step off the stage to shake some hands with the people near the stage.  It was during this walk around time that this image was taken.  The First Lady was walking slowly and just about everyone held up their phones to take pictures, effectively blocking any view we had.  So, as they teach in photo school (so I have been told), if you can't eliminate it from the image, use it in the image.  I ended up capturing a really nice image of people taking photos of the First Lady.  I submitted the image to my wire service, and they selected it as one of their Photos of the Day.  Nice.