Chandler West, 31, had just been employed in his new position as deputy director of photography at the White Dwelling when he was assigned the surreal job of photographing the “flip.”
“It’s 1 of the craziest things I have carried out due to the fact coming in this article,” West reported. “My to start with task on [Inauguration Day] was to get to the White Residence and be there to seize the flip as it was happening. So I expended like 4 or five hrs just standing in the Oval Place of work watching men and women physically carrying home furniture out, putting in new rugs and hanging artwork.”
The second was all the far more surreal, contemplating that just 6 a long time before West was operating in Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside as staff members photographer for the Landmark and other newspapers owned by its mum or dad enterprise at the time, Wednesday Journal Inc. — a occupation he held from late 2014 to mid-2015.
“The occupation I had at the Journal was definitely one of my preferred jobs, likely second to this a single,” West said. “I actually preferred the neighborhood and the way men and women get thrilled when we’d demonstrate up and say we’re from the Journal.”
Following his stint in this article, West was lured to New York for a lot more editing and pictures encounter. He landed work in picture modifying at the Day-to-day Mail and Refinery29 just before a moment of serendipity improved his vocation.
In 2016, he came across a position opening on the website of Hillary for The united states. He applied for the posture of picture editor, not contemplating he’d get it, thinking about he experienced no connections to the marketing campaign.
“I assumed I’d never listen to anything,” he mentioned. “I was setting up to move from New York to Washington, D.C., to see what I could discover down in this article and as I was packing up, I got a call from the marketing campaign inquiring me to occur in.”
West worked as one of around five employees photographers on Clinton’s marketing campaign until finally it ended. What did he consider of his principal issue?
“I achieved Hillary Clinton a few of occasions, but I spent far more time with other principals, considering that she experienced her have chief photographer,” West reported. “So I was not super shut to her individually, but any time I interacted with her, she was super close and warm. She’s a pretty caring particular person. When people today would get off the aircraft, she’d get off and test on issues, inquiring if everybody experienced their baggage and if they essential just about anything.”
Following the Clinton campaign, West moved to California and worked approximately two yrs as a multimedia professional with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropy established by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his spouse.
As soon as campaign season picked back up in 2018, he moved back to D.C. and started carrying out freelance photography for the presidential strategies of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“All of the candidates I have labored with are good,” West mentioned. “I haven’t met anybody who is a jerk or everything, but [Booker] is a person of the most personable and most partaking persons. When we released the marketing campaign, I satisfied him at 6 a.m. and hung out in his kitchen area for most of the day. He was carrying out media calls. A single moment, he will get off the telephone soon after talking to his senior advisers and I’m variety of huddled in the corner of the home hoping to not to make sound and he turns to me and states, ‘Hey Chandler, how do you imagine I did on that call?’ He goes out of his way to make positive everybody feels portion of the system and engaged.”
West related with the Joe Biden marketing campaign just as the former vice president was gaining momentum just after his shocking landslide earn in the South Carolina principal. West had cultivated a romance with Biden photographer Adam Schultz while doing work on the Clinton marketing campaign. Schultz is now Biden’s main White Dwelling photographer.
“By the time I joined his marketing campaign, Biden was essentially the presumptive nominee and the campaign was kicking into superior equipment and using the services of much more employees,” West claimed. “That’s when I got a connect with from Adam inquiring to assistance him maintain up with all the things.”
West reported which is been his position at any time given that. The times are very long: “Twelve hours is possibly a very good working day from time to time they are additional like 15- or 16-hour days,” West reported. And the perform is not always glamorous.
West can help take care of a small staff members of about six photographers who are charged with myriad jobs, not the least of which is guaranteeing that the White House “jumbos” (the huge-scale prints hanging up all through the dwelling) are rotated with regularity.
Regardless of some mundane tasks, West stated it’s really hard to be jaded in the new gig. On the morning of this interview, he experienced been having photographs in the Rose Backyard garden.
“A good deal of the halls in the West Wing glance just like any other business office hallway,” he claimed. “Not all of it is tremendous grand. A good deal of it is doing ordinary office environment issues. But then you get snapped out of normalcy when you listen to the helicopters flying on the garden, or the other day I was having a COVID examination down the hall in the clinical unit and I recognized John Kerry was in line ahead of me. So it is this weird jumping again and forth out of all those moments.”
And then there is the day by day commute.
“When you stroll up to the developing, it glows from the daylight form of bouncing off the white, and it’s definitely a little something you never ever get employed to,” West stated. “I’ve labored with pastry chefs and safety and other staffers who have been here for 20 a long time or far more, and they say the identical point. It by no means will get outdated.”