I’ve had the opportunity to photograph both Governor Walker and former Governor Doyle on a number of occasions, but they were always in a cramped space in the Capitol with four TV cameras and a boring podium blocking the majority of the governor’s body.
Today I got to photograph Scott Walker in his “home,” the executive mansion on Madison’s north side. Besides the somewhat gaudy Christmas decorations and prevalence of bald eagle portraits, the mansion was a pretty interesting place to shoot in.
More or less Walker was hosting an FDR-esque fireside chat for media outlets to interview him privately for 15-20 minutes. I was called up by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism to do a few photos while they interviewed him. I was really thankful for the more intimate setting we were placed in. It allowed for me to be more creative and freely move around for different angles without worrying about being in someone’s shot.
Considering the article that the Center is working on is sort of a year-in-review type piece, I wanted to get photos of Scott Walker that were reflective and telling. In shooting Walker before I knew this would be a challenge since he usually isn’t extremely animated in terms of facial expressions, and I wanted to do more than just hand gestures and talking.
I was most pleased with this shot below. Perhaps is a little overly dramatic, but I think it brings across the mood I was looking for. I only wish it didn’t have such Christmas-y overtones to it, but oh well.
I always find photographing politicians fascinating — and since I got to be a fly on the wall while he was being interviewed, I really enjoyed having candid access to him that I wouldn’t have had if I was making a straight portrait.