Last week's Time and Place photo was taken on June 26, 2012, at 1:25 p.m. at the Westin Hotel in downtown Atlanta. President Barack Obama was in town for a day of fundraising. While in Atlanta Obama stopped at the Varsity, where he ordered five chili dogs, four regular dogs, and one hamburger before heading to the Westin to speak at a reception for approximately 200 people who each paid $500. After his speech, Obama attended a $35,000-a-head roundtable discussion for around 20 people. (Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential hopeful, will hold a $50,000 plate event on July 9.)
Personally, I am offended when I read about the time that politicians spend raising money and the amount of cash their events garner. Why should access to the president be decided by how much someone donates to the president's campaign? It seems like the antithesis of what I was taught about democracy in high school. On another note, how can it be legal for companies to give millions of dollars to politicians when, often times, these same companies receive government contracts?
When I photograph Obama I try to capture an unusual image either in the framing or in his expression - something that looks different than the thousands of pictures that are shot of him every single day. That's hard for this type of event, as photographers are placed on a riser and given little room to move. Although Obama is on the stage speaking at a podium when I took this photograph, it has the appearance of him being somewhere else. I also like his stressed-out expression. It felt like a truly honest moment in an event that's full of exaggerated smiles, talking points, and practiced gestures.
A few more of my favorite photos from the event are after the jump.
NOTE: This post has been altered to correct the date on which the photograph was taken.
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