PetaPixel

Vermont Senator Doubles as an Amateur Photographer, Takes Photos Others Can’t

leahy1

There aren’t many ways to get intimate access to the behind-the-scenes of government as a photog. Your best option is probably to try and snag a spot as the official White House photographer, but those jobs are hard to come by. A senator from Vermont, however, has found another way: get a day job as a Senator and moonlight as an amateur photographer.

Official photo of Senator Patrick Leahy

Official photo of Senator Patrick Leahy

According to an article in USA Today, that’s exactly what Senator Patrick Leahy has been doing for a long time now. And once you get past the irony that he is from the same state that recently proposed a bill to ban public photography, you start to appreciate the level of access the Senator enjoys, and the quality of his work.

The portico archway from the Capitol to the inaugural platform.

The portico archway from the Capitol to the inaugural platform.

Senator Leahy is the most senior member of Congress. Including this year’s inauguration, he has attended 10 in total, and he has the pictures to prove it. From the presidency of Jimmy Carter on up, the Vermont Democrat can be easily distinguished from his congressional peers by the SLR hanging from his neck.

Here is a selection of Senator Leahy’s photos, including some from President Obama’s inauguration this year, former President Reagan’s inauguration in 1985, and a few events in-between:

President Obama at his inauguration in January.

President Obama at his inauguration in January.

Vice President Biden on the inaugural platform.

Vice President Biden on the inaugural platform.

Sen. John Kerry on the steps of the Capitol building the day of George W. Bush's second inauguration.

Sen. John Kerry on the steps of the Capitol the day of George W. Bush’s second inauguration.

Ronald Reagan taking the oath of office while his wife Nancy holds the Bible for him.

Ronald Reagan taking the oath of office while his wife Nancy holds the Bible for him.

The 2009 inaugural stage.

The 2009 inaugural stage.

A reflection shot of the US Marine Band at President Obama's inauguration in 2009

A reflection shot of the US Marine Band at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009

Col. Coburn directing the US Marine Band that same day.

Col. Coburn directing the US Marine Band that same day.

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton at former President Clinton's 1993 inauguration.

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton at former President Clinton’s 1993 inauguration.

Leahy captures the signing of the America Invents Act, which he co-authored, into law by President Obama

Leahy captures the signing of the America Invents Act, which he co-authored.

Leahy’s status as the go-to amateur photographer is well-known in congressional circles. He’s photographed everything from George H.W. Bush wearing a Donald Duck cap while holding a cocktail (the former President asked him to) to VP Joe Biden and his wife in Paris (they were there for a NATO conference), but his photography is often about more than fun.

He’s been known to put his skills to use for political reasons — showing other members of the Senate pictures of the devastation in Vermont caused by Hurricane Irene, and lobbying for foreign aid for landmine victims by showing gruesome pictures of the victims themselves. There’s no indication that he’s going to get out of politics any time soon, but if he does he may have a promising photography career ahead of him as a retiree.

To see more from Senator Leahy, be sure to follow him on his Twitter account here, or visit the Senator’s campaign office webpage for more photos taken both of and by him.

(via USA Today via Reddit)


Image credits: Photographs by Senator Patrick Leahy


 
 
  • tiredofit123

    Fine, but except for Reagan they’re all photos of politicians I don’t want to see.

  • Victor

    As dull as these photos are, I still wish he would quit his “day job.”

  • http://www.daneitz.com/ David Neitz

    Given he is from Vermont he really should be asking permission before he takes all of these photos..

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.felt Jim Felt

    The story of any value here is “his home state wants to ban public photography”????
    That’s the stupidity and comi-tragedy of this bozo being touted as a “photographer”!!!

  • Mansgame

    Fan of Iran Contra and passing ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches huh?

  • Mansgame

    These are great pics.

  • Scott M.

    It’s a Nikon but I can’t tell which one. Lens looks DX

  • Scott M.

    +1

  • Chiggero

    He’s not a state senator, so he has nothing to do with that legislation.

  • tiredofit123

    I guess you like drone strikes and being taxed for health insurance…..go stuff it where the sun don’t shine….

  • Jake

    This is not the place, guys.

  • tyrohne

    the adulation of the ruling class continues apace…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.austin.714 Ben Austin

    Light Leaky Leahy, am I right?

  • MarvinB7

    I liked the Reagan one on it’s own. It may not be a fantastic image, but the history in it is lots of fun. And the one over Obama’s shoulder, just interesting.

  • russianbox

    Its sad now all the comment on here diverge into ‘these photos suck’ or ‘he sucks’. How about we support peoples love for photography? He gets amazing insight and takes his camera along! good on him.

    The top photo showing him taking a photo of Obama just shows that hes happy to take a camera where others wouldn’t.

    Thanks for posting this PetaPixel!

  • Mansgame

    I actually do.

  • Mansgame

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/01/19/senator-patrick-leahy-photographer/1847279/ According to that, he shoots with whatever he has at hand. Sometimes a D300….I know he was seen with a D3 a few years ago too so maybe he’s upgraded.

  • branden rio

    Thank you for stepping up! It’s not an article about someone else’s photos without comments full of vitriol and arrogance!

  • babola

    By the shape of it and model logo position it’s either D300 or D700, but judging by the size and shape of th elens attached (DX) it’s most likley D300.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lars-Blackmore/100002336794056 Lars Blackmore

    Srsly… it’s striking to see this thread full of “his pictures suck because he sucks” vitriol. Yes, some clueless state senator here in VT has proposed a ludicrous bill that’ll never even get out of committee. What has that got to do with Leahy? Yes, you may disagree with Leahy on his politics, but what has that got to do with the rather cool fact that a US senator is a photo buff? Surely that should be celebrated, not denigrated — as a matter of fact, having him in a position of pretty significant power should be quite comforting at a time where photographers and photography are increasingly under threat from overzealous law enforcement and patriot act fetishists on both sides of the aisle.

  • jrconner

    May he keep shooting forever — and represent Vermont almost as long.