Saturday, early evening, at Former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) presidential campaign rally at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri:
It’s a young person’s game, working in event advance and communications for a campaign.
That is also true if you’re covering presidential campaigns. Still, we get the press advisories, we RSVP to the event, we get the credential confirmation (and print it out), charge the batteries, check the weather, check the parking availability, grab the gear (always ready), and go.
You trudge up the hill, check out the two long lines, choose the shorter one for the media entrance (yep, that’s it). The camera is already out, because you never know who you’ll run into. Sure enough, there are pictures to be taken.
Your name is checked on the list. If it’s there you get an event credential with a safety pin. If it’s not your first rodeo you already have a safety pin attached to your outlet credential.
There’s a main riser with a rotating stills section (that means you can camp out if there’s no demand for the space, otherwise, still photographers rotate in and out). There’s a cut (side) riser. The same rules basically apply, unless you’re otherwise directed.
As we waited we noted a guy in the crowd with a video camera on a ten foot poll standing twenty feet in front of the main press riser waving his getup in the line of sight to the podium. We climb off the riser, find a member of the advance team and point to the camera on a pole floating in the crowd. The staffer gets it instantly.
The staff handled it perfectly. They waded into the crowd and talked with the individual, got him out of the crowd, handed him a media credential, and plopped him down in the rotating stills section of the main press riser. No more problem. Everyone was happy. No scene, no drama.
The advance and communications staff were pros. I got almost 1100 frames.