I was given the extraordinary opportunity to provide real-time photography on the NBC News Instagram account of the second presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. The morning started of bitterly cold and windy. After finding my way through the maze of security I made my way to the U.S. Capitol reflecting pool just before sunrise.
As crowds began to fill the National Mall, I started to document the experience. Still hours before the start of the ceremony, I already started to lose cell signal which made posting in real-time extremely difficult.
While covering events I always try to find an image that would be powerful, emotional and different. I spotted this young girl playing with the gravel on the ground and at first didn’t think anything of it. Then I looked closely at what she was doing with the stones and sprung into action immediately, before any of the other photographers around me caught onto it.
Another photographer who I was talking too before I noticed the young girl, managed to capture me taking the photo that I soon posted to Instagram.
I knew this photo would draw a reaction so I shared the Instagram to Twitter and Facebook. Later on that morning I received messages saying that the image made the front page of Reddit.
— Jon McKee (@jonmckee) January 22, 2013
I wanted to make sure the world knew who the little girl was so with the parents permission I took another photo introducing Cassie.
The ceremony then started to begin. I was still roaming the Reflecting Pool area and planned to walk the parade route to the White House to make sure I was there for when the President arrived.
Another goal was to find a theme that was coming from the crowd. I noticed lots of American flag hats being worn so I managed to capture a few and combine.
While walking down the parade route to get to the White House, the one building that really stood out was the Intercontinental. Every window had an American flag with a large banner congratulating the President.
After finally making it to the end of the parade route, I managed to capture the President and First Lady as well as the Vice President.
Then capped the evening off with a shot down Pennsylvania Ave in the evening.
You can see more of my images from the Inauguration here on my Flickr page.