I shot this photograph while I was covering the New Hampshire primary election as a freelance journalist working for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. I was on the Obama press bus when we made an impromptu stop at Jack's Coffee Shop in New London, New Hampshire. There were more reporters and photogs than Jack's could hold. And, there was a pecking order as to who was positioned where. TV cameras and their reporters were up front. Still photographers were stationed behind them. Bringing up the back of the shop were print reporters like me.
As we waited for Sen. Barack Obama to get off his campaign bus for the photo op, I exited through a rear door to the coffee shop, which was on a strip mall, to check out Vessels & Jewels, a quaint gift shop adjoining Jack's. When the candidate appeared, rather than heading straight for the coffee shop and the awaiting journalists, he came into the gift store and began shopping for gifts for Michelle, Natasha and Malia. Candidate Obama and I exchanged greetings as he looked at jewelry in the store.
I was the only journalist in the shop so I pulled out my camera, popping off a few shots that became my exclusive photos. Obama paid for his purchase then left Jack's to enter the front of the coffee shop and the rest of the media from his two press buses. As I stood outside watching him head for the coffee shop, Michelle and her security got off the bus. She waved at me, then walked over and gave me a hug. I've known her since I spoke to Public Allies, a civic group she headed up back in 1993. She then joined her husband and I returned to my position with the press corps at the back of the coffee shop. Obama shook hands with the customers in the show, ordered a cup of tea and answered a few questions before we all got back on our respective buses and headed on to the next campaign stop.