Election 2012: How Las Vegas Sun photographer Steve Marcus makes images of Governor Mitt Romney

Steve Marcus on shooting campaign events featuring Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan:

I don’t really have an “approach” per se, more like some basic strategies.

I shot the line outside the rally to get the related feature shots, like the woman showing off her T-shirt or the man from Nevada Desert Experience with his sign on Iran. Inside, I need to get the wide environmental shot, the tight candidate shot, the supporters reaction, a detail, and the candidates working the rope line.

I didn’t have buffer access (the pit just around the candidate), so I worked around the edges and used a variety of focal lengths. The photo of Romney from the side with the secret service on the left could have been shot much tighter – just on Romney, but at the suggestion of another photographer, my friend Molly Riley, I shot with a shorter lens and left them in as a framing elements. I usually like shooting the candidates from the “cut-away” riser shot (from the side) better than the shot from the back risers because the back riser shots always seem to flat to me. You can see the difference in the photo where Romney first comes out (taken from the side). The farewell waves are from the riser. Due to the nature of the Henderson Pavilion, I couldn’t see Romney work the rope line from the back riser and he was already through by the time I made it down to the side. I did manage to get down in time to get a decent shot of Ryan, though.

Most of the shots from the riser to the stage are taken with a 400mm telephoto lens. The wide photo is with a 16-35 mm wide zoom and the rest with a 70-200mm zoom.