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Campaign trail fun with Instagram: Photographer shares visual journal

September 11, 2012 | By Chip Somodevilla | News, Photography, Photojournalism

Since buying an iPhone 4S in January 2012, I’ve been keeping a compact visual campaign journal by building black and white photographic diptychs and posting them to Instagram. While working the story with my DSLR cameras, I also quickly sweep up dozens of images into the phone, grabbing whatever catches my eye, whether it’s part of the main action or away from the spotlight.

I grab images of my fellow journalists, the crowds of supporters and critics, the stage construction crews, the campaign volunteers and the unusual periphery that surrounds a major political campaign.

Later, while riding in the bus, van or plane to the next event, I scan the pictures and look for meaning, mystery or just plain aesthetic pleasure. With a handful of really sophisticated and useful apps, I can compare and contrast, build a narrative or break down a political rally into parts and pieces, all inside of my iPhone. Then, using Instagram, I share the diptych with hundreds of people who follow my feed.

Editor’s note: After working for eight years at newspapers across the United States, Chip Somodevilla moved to Washington, DC, in 2005. Since he began working in the nation’s capital, his images of politics and protest have appeared in major publications around the world. He’s won awards in the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism, Pictures of the Year International and the White House News Photographers Association, where he was awarded Political Photo of the Year in 2006 and was named Photographer of the Year in 2010. He is now covering his second U.S. presidential race. Follom him on Instagram @somophoto.

For more election coverage from Getty Images, visit:, or, to see a collection of Instagram images from the campaign trail, check us out here.

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A selection of two diptychs shot by Getty Images photographer Chip Somodevilla, using his iPhone.
At left, image 141759175:
TOP: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers an economic speech at the International House at the University of Chicago March 19, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. BOTTOM: Members of the Romney traveling news media pool cover an economic speech from the press riser in the back of the auditorium at the university. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
At right, image 148468746:
TOP: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a campaign event at James Day Park July 5, 2012 in Parma, Ohio. BOTTOM: The audience of supporters at the park wait for the arrival of the president. Obama is traveling by bus through Northern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania for a ‘Betting on America’ campaign tour. The president highlighted his administration’s efforts to improve the economy by creating manufacturing jobs and rescuing the American auto industry while taking swings at the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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