I was busy shooting a soft little feature on self-driving cars at a backwater display below the main floor at the Detroit Auto Show. Then the text from the boss came through. “Biden’s in Chevy!” Chevy, as in the Chevrolet stand about a billion footsteps and an escalator ride from my current location. Boom. I schlepped my gear and went as fast as my short little legs would go. Keep that image in mind. It comes into play in a moment.
As I’m running, well, dragging my sorry butt, into Chevy I see….nothing. Crap! Missed the shot. Except I didn’t. A moment later a moving wall of shooters, reporters and security people swarmed into the stand, and I could only assume it was, indeed, the Vice President of the United States, or a special appearance by the current Miss Manifold.
Hopelessly stuck behind taller people, meaning anyone taller than my Lilliputian 5’6″, I got on my tippy toes while raising the camera as high as possible, meaning about nose level for normal human beings.
I get lucky and a former CNN colleague now working for General Motors offered me her spot in the mob and that got me a couple of feet closer, but of course, no taller. But it was enough to get a shot of Biden with a GM exec. Not a great shot, but something. Being a pesky little bastard I worm my way into a better spot and start to shoot..until a security guard steps right in front of my lens. “Excuse me,” I say. “You just blocked my shot.” Well, the SOB takes issue and stands his ground, even moving an inch to make sure I have nothing. I see another guard, not much taller than me who hears my plea, so I appeal to him. “Look, I’m a runt. I’m just trying to do my job.” He laughs. I instantly wish herpes on him.
But then providence intervenes. I take up a spot near a blue Corvette where no one else seemed to be. At once I notice a grey haired blur to my right. Biden’s brushing right up against me as he heads to the ‘Vette. I start rolling. He’s right there! Money shot! I won’t be short-changed!