Being a freelance photographer has its challenges. You don't have as much access as credentialed press, you have to pay for your own way, you really don't have any support or anyone helping you out. It can be tough to do it on your own.
The advantage to being a freelancer is you get to do exactly anything you want without any agendas or any commitments that you have to keep. You can shoot what you want, when you want to, and can tell the story that you find.
Having covered the past two inaugurations for President Obama in the same way, I booked travel for my team and I to Washington DC for the inauguration of President Donald Trump. My experience for both of Obama's inaugurations prior to the swearing in was pretty simple really. Get there early, get a spot and watch the inauguration. There were a lot of people there, especially in 2009 where there were more than in 2013, but is was pretty much devoid of any protests or controversies outside of the normal 1 or 2 "Believe in Jesus or Go to Hell" guys that you see regularly in any big city.
That wasn't the case at the inauguration for President Trump.
We took the metro in and got off near the Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated. We heard chanting and yelling as we headed towards the entrance to the inauguration. What we discovered there was something pretty surreal.
There was a large group protesting and blocking the entrance to the Trump supporters not letting them pass to be able to enter the National Mall area to view the inauguration. For those who have never attended an inauguration before access is restricted and you have to pass through security to enter. At the Obama inaugurations in 2009 and 2013 access was easy. You waited your turn in line and got in. At this entrance the protesters were locking arms and would not let Trump supporters pass.
The police were present but would not intervene unless a Trump supporter was in the middle of the fray as they tried to get past the protesters. I try to make a point in my photojournalism to not say too much as I don't want to paint the narrative. I prefer to let my pictures and my films show what happened and for the viewer to decide on their own what they think of it all.
For what It's worth I'd show good and bad behavior on either side of the political spectrum without hesitation. I truly do want to just convey what occurs and let others decide what it all means. I hope you find that it moves you in some way.
Below are images from the protest taken. Images and video footage from the inauguration, the riots at night, and the Women's March the next day will also be coming soon.