It’s a little weird today to be spending Inauguration Day in warmth. I moved to DC in 1999 and covered every Inauguration since as a photojournalist for The Washington Times.
I was blessed with a lot of great experiences as a photojournalist but I don’t think anything will ever top covering President Obama’s first Inauguration. We got out there in the FREEZING weather before 5am and just stood for hours waiting for the sun to come up and to get a little feeling back in our toes. It took a while before we realized that the Mall which was still in complete darkness was packed with people. We just assumed it was empty until we started seeing all the little flashes twinkling all the way down the Mall.
My position for that Inauguration was 2nd to none. I was on the Balustrade behind the President to get the photograph of him being sworn in with 1.8 million people in the background. I will never forget that historic day!
For Bush’s 2nd Inauguration, it was another bitterly cold day. I was lucky enough to be put on the main riser that faced him for the swearing in photograph that would lead the paper.
For Bush’s 1st Inauguration, I never saw the President. I was tasked with covering the protestors and it was DEFINITELY more intense than covering the next 2. It was raining that day and absolutely freezing. The only good thing was that we were running so much that I was the only one out of our team of photojournalists who didn’t get cold.