Obama had bigger hands than I had expected.
Last Monday I had the privilege of making a visit the Oval Office to meet President Obama. I was invited because I won first place in the 2011 Eyes of History contest through the White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA.org). About 25 photojournalists, video journalists, and video editors were honored for their first-place finishes in their perspective categories. My award was for how I see & capture light—seriously. We as photographers take light really seriously. Remember my previous post which included my confession of being a light snob? In these types of photography competitions they reward light-snobbery with visits to shake hands with The President. Check out my winning entry http://bcove.me/aohtlky6
This was my first time in the Oval Office and definitely my first time shaking hands with The President. Some of us were cool and collected going in as this was commonplace for them, and others were nervous which included an admonition of sweaty hands. I got to see my friends from NPR, The Washington Post, as well as make a new friend at The Baltimore Sun.
Here is a breakdown of my video of in the White House
Scene 1: Our fearless WHNPA leaders organized us in alphabetical order in the White House briefing room
Scene 2: Waiting in the halls outside of the Oval Office
Scene 3: Walking in to shake Obama’s hand
Scene 4: After our group photo we presented Obama with a gift (Referent: Shirtless Obama photo)
Scene 5: Exit stage right to the White House rose garden and back into the White House briefing room
But back to shaking Obama’s hand. They were the kind of hands you would associate with a generous man or a man who is very gentle and much taller. On my way out of the Oval Office Obama said “I’ll never forget our time together” and we all laughed. I then tried to move closer to The President so I could ask him something. Once I got close enough I asked “Mr. President, do you give high fives?” Without hesitation he put his hand up and said “yeah” and I high fived the President of The United States. A few others next to me did the same and President Obama said “and fist-bumps too!”
What a fun experience! Coolest first-prize award ever.