November 7, 2020 Erin Sutherland

Backlog: 582 Days

Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s been a while again. To say that it’s been a weird, stressful time is an understatement. But I am here today to share a few unused images from an event in the Before Times – before the coronavirus, before the primaries, before Joe Biden even announced his run for the presidency.



April 5, 2019. Joe Biden came to speak at the IBEW Construction Conference amid swirls of speculation on whether and when he’d announce his campaign. It was a wild day. We don’t usually let press in, but with Biden’s appearance, they were practically banging down our doors. So we let them in, with some strict rules about where the could be… which left me as the lone still photographer with floor access. Exciting! Terrifying! So much pressure!



Thankfully, I was able to test lighting and positions earlier in the day so I could be cool, calm, and collected when it was go time for Biden. (I was not cool, calm, and collected at first. I was nervous! But at least my camera settings were ready.) Photos from this day were used for our newspaper – The Electrical Worker – and Political Department, and also appeared in ads leading up to Election Day in battleground states. (When the time is right, I’ll update here with some examples using the official photos.)



This photo is one of my favorites from the day. It’s a quiet moment that happened as the audience gave applause just before he walked off stage. He had his usual Biden smile and wave, and then paused here to look out at the audience. To me, it felt very personal; it seemed as though he was taking a moment to breathe and take it all in before something big happens. We knew he was contemplating running for president, but we didn’t know when the announcement would come. It ended up to be April 25, 2019. And on February 5, 2020, the IBEW officially gave him their endorsement.


It’s been a wild ride these last 582 days. I’ve thought about these photos every day, and I’m finally proud to share them today, the day Joe Biden earned the title “President-Elect.”

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