Student photographer reflects on covering march, thunderstorms at Republican National Convention
Hiding under a tree, while the outskirts of Tropical Storm Isaac poured over us Monday, I met a freelance photographer from Bloomberg News.
As he helped me get my poncho on and wrap trash bags around my cameras, I realized what I was doing — photographing a march in the heart of downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention and during a severe storm.
No big deal at all.
I never have shot a march before and as I frantically took photos in the three-foot space between the protestors and the police, I felt alive. The power and presence of a hundred cops in riot gear and the screams of protesters left me in a daze.
I walked by photographers with Associated Press lanyards and Reuters tags, I got in the way of some of their shots (sorry about that) and I watched as cameras jetted out from every direction. I was an amateur among photojournalist gods.
The protesters pushed the media closer to the line of police, and I started getting nervous, hoping somebody didn’t do something stupid enough to get the entire crowed gassed. I weaved my way around the group and made my way to the open center of Tampa Street where another group of police were marching in.
And then the rain hit.
Photographers darted to the nearest awnings and trees. Sheets and sheets of water. I raced under the nearest tree, praying the two cameras I had around my shoulders weren’t ruined. And that’s where Victor Blue, the freelance photographer from Bloomberg News came in, helping me by calming my nerves.
This experience thus far has been frantic and stressful and wet, and I’m sure by the end of this trip I’ll have some sort of breakdown, but it’ll all be worth it for the chance to do something most college journalists won’t ever do. I’ll probably never get the opportunity to cover a convention such as this ever again, so I’m going to soak up each moment.