Last Thursday afternoon I drove to Spokane to shoot a story about three young adults from our county who make up the youngest delegation in Washington at the state Republican convention. This was an interesting and eye-opening — and in some cases actually eye-closing — experience for several reasons.
I like going into situations like this with at least some semblance of a plan. I met with Nan Malin, who is one of the top GOPs in the state and had taken these three under her wing, in order to figure out when and where I would have access during the two days I would be there. It was all set, she had arranged for me to have access to several events and I was feeling pretty good about it. This all changed however almost as soon as I got to the convention the next morning. Apparently due to security concerns arising from the uprising that was the Ron Paul supporters, a lot of the convention and its activities were closed to the media (as well as the alternate delegates) for some reason. At one point during the day I went literally nose to nose with the convention chair in charge of such things and later found out that I almost got my credential pulled. This left me shooting things that really didn't show what all a delegate does at a state convention, which was very disappointing for me.
The saving grace though was the kids themselves, who were great. Smart, friendly and willing to discuss differences — I think some of the adults could have taken a few pointers in this regard. I really wish I could have had the opportunity to really see them in action.
Anyway, I had a lot of unexpected downtime in between the opportunities I did have to be shooting them, and ended up taking a lot of pics that have no place in the story, but were things I saw at the convention.
The security line for the delegates going into the convention was long and almost airport-like.
Dino Rossi was the belle of the ball and so I guess that's why he got the biggest sign. Security was everywhere, lots of city cops and county deputies keeping an eye on things. This however did not stop Nan from getting nailed in the head by some dudes flag he was waving.
While represented pretty well amongst the seated delegates, a grand majority of the alternates were also Paul supporters and took every chance they could get to make that known. They were actually pretty entertaining, despite the fact that they were really ticking a lot of people off.
This was the only evidence I found the whole time I was there of Bush being the sitting president, which I found interesting. I mean, the GOP has had the president in office for the last seven years, and they were speaking about how they need to "save this country" which made me wonder if this means they need to save it from themselves?
Here's me riding the elevator back to my hotel room for like the fourth time on Friday.
When I finish the audio slideshow from the story I'll post it on here tomorrow.
On my way back from Spokane on Saturday evening I attended the awards dinner for the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, or SPJ, which is in honor of the winners of their annual Excellence in Journalism competition. I had entered four single photos and a portfolio of my best work from last year and had been notified that I'd won something and since it was essentially right off I-90 I made it part of my return trip.
Of course, looking as if you'd just driven for 5 hours (which I had at that point) made a little uncomfortable amongst the masses in ties and jackets, but oh well. I sat with a couple who felt the same way and were particularly nice. He's a writer for Washington CEO magazine and she is a front page designer for the Tacoma News Tribune.
By the end of the long night I was pretty happy, as I was given the Portfolio Award, a first in spot news photo, and second in sports photo and a third in feature single photo (all in the non-daily categories). The portfolio was a selection of what I felt were my 10 best pix from last year, the spot news was my pic of the couple at Washaway Beach last December, the sports pic was of Kyle Burkhalter competing in the triple jump and shot from directly above the pit, and the feature was from the pie eating contest at the Wahkiakum County Fair last summer. It was very cool to be honored alongside some of the other shooters in the state that I admire, like Rod Mar and Alan Berner.