If you also follow me on davidvaldezusa my Instagram page, you can see my latest best of photos for 2017. During 2017 I posted 426 photos and received 38,532 likes. Thanks for following me there and here on my website. This coming year should be even better with some exciting new projects starting soon. I also post photos on my Flickr account at davidvaldezusa Please follow me there to see more photos. Thanks.
December 1983 I was working as the Chief Photographer for Nations Business magazine published by The United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.. At the time Nations Business was the largest selling business magazine in the country. I was on an assignment for Nations Business to photograph the 2nd Lady (the wife of the Vice President) Barbara Bush, who was placing the star on the top of the National Christmas Tree. While we were all waiting for the arrival of Barbara Bush, Scott Applewhite, Associate Press photographer told me that Vice President Bush's photographer was leaving . I thought immediately I would apply for the position. I had no idea how to do that so I did some research and found out that the Vice President photographer reported to the Vice President's Press Secretary. Shirley Green was the Vice President's Press Secretary so I wrote her a letter of introduction. Fortunately for me she was a Texan as am I so I received an invitation to meet with her. I was a cordial meeting, I brought a print portfolio but we mostly talked. After that meeting I was invited back to meet with the Chief of Staff Admiral Dan Murphy,Ret. That interview was very hard. He was pushing my buttons trying to make me upset. Fortunately I grew up as an Air Force brat. My father, Israel Valdez Sr. was a career U.S. Air Force Officer so I knew respect for authority. I had also been a photographer in the U.S.Air Force myself so facing a retired Navy Admiral was not too bad. But honestly when I left the interview with him I thought he hated me and I would never get the job.
Then I received an invitation to meet with Vice President George Bush. I was excited to be meeting the Vice President but it didn't really hit me till I was walking into his office in the Old Executive Office Building that I would be meeting alone with the Vice President of the United States. He greeted me and was so warm and gracious that he put me at ease. He showed me around his office where he had many photos of his grand children on display. He was telling me I would be with him in public and private and that we needed to have a trust between us. I would be exposed to personal and private situations and classified information. It was important to him that we had a good relationship. As we were having this conversation I realized he thought I had been offered a job and I at that point I realized no one had talked to me about the salary. I boldly asked him if he knew what the salary was. He had no idea but he said let's call Admiral Murphy so he did. Well Admiral Murphy's office was right next door and the walls in the Old Executive Office building are thin. I could hear him yelling, "What! He's asking you about salary?" Well I was hired anyway.
Life would never be the same after that. The decision Shirley Green made changed my life. Thanks Shirley.
From that day on till January 20,1993 I was running around the world on assignment with George H.W. Bush.
Below are just a few photos from that time. Here is also a link to photos of Vice President Bush at the Bush Presidential Library. One thing that most people don't know is that when I worked for the Vice President I was an employee of the United States Senate because the Vice President is President of the Senate.
First of all I want to thank those who have reached out to me after reading by blog posts. Always fun to hear what people think. I published a book in 1997 called "George Herbert Walker Bush, A Photographic Profile" . That book is a collection of photos of the life of George H.W. Bush with quotes from him and a forward that I wrote. All these years later people are still asking me to write my personal story. What they really want are stories about my time as the President's Photographer. I plan on doing that right here. I will tell stories that I remember as I remember things. I do a fair amount of public speaking and when I do that I show some of my White House photos and tell stories. That seems to always be a big hit so I will do that here in my next posts. Stay tuned. I have some fun stories and will share photos that I took along the way.
I was invited by Kenneth Reihart to speak about my White House Photography of President George H.W. Bush to the Texas A&M Photography Club in College Station,Texas. I usually start my presentation with a video of a Today Show piece about my days at the White House. I then have a slide show of some of my White House photos. It is always fun for me to share my experiences and take questions.
In the history of the country there have only been 10 Presidential Photographers. I am number 5. Yoichi Okamoto was the first Presidential Photographer for President Johnson. Sheila Craighead is the current Presidential Photographer for President Trump.
They used to say if 60 Minutes knocks on your that is the end of your career. Well I talked to them today about my time being President Bush (41)'s photographer at the White House. The interview went well. I will have to wait to post the link to the story. As I understand it this is a web story and not a TV broadcast piece. There lately seems to be more and more interest in President George H.W.Bush and since I spent so much time with him folks have been knocking on my door for interviews. CBS TV is preparing to do a documentary on the Presidential Photographers. In the history of the country there have been only 10 people to be Presidential Photographers. I'm number 5. Stay tuned for this and several other projects in the works.
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore was the Key Note speaker at an Energy Summit in beautiful Georgetown,Texas. Georgetown,Texas where I live uses 100% solar and wind energy. Mayor of Georgetown Dale Ross is leading the nation in moving Georgetown in this effort. Mayor Ross introduced Vice President Gore and they both did an interview with Japanese TV. Below are a few photos from this event. I used my Nikon D810 with my Nikon 200-500mm lens for the Al Gore speech and I used my Nikon D750 with my Nikon 28-300mm lens for the close up candids.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2017
Contact: Jim McGrath, Spokesman
Office of George H. W. Bush
ONE AMERICA APPEAL HURRICANE RELIEF CONCERT RAISES $2.6 MILLION
Over 6.5 Million Online Viewers Watch Five Former Presidents, Lady Gaga,
Top Music Performers Via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, OneAmericaAppeal.org
College Station, TX — Five former U.S. presidents reunited for the first time in four years Saturday night at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena for “Deep from the Heart,” a charity concert featuring surprise guest artist Lady Gaga that raised $2.6 million for One America Appeal. Roughly 6.5 million viewed all or part of the event online, which was livestreamed on YouTube, various Facebook pages, Twitter and the campaign’s website OneAmericaAppeal.org.
Since the start of the concert at 7pm CST Saturday, One America Appeal has raised $1.5 million through its website, another $100,000 through Facebook, and $75,000 through Text To Donate courtesy of AT&T. Ticket sales for “Deep from the Heart,” meanwhile, raised another $970,000 for hurricane recovery thanks to underwriting that covered all event expenses.
In terms of digital viewership, the YouTube video of the concert (available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XfPL43Bwg0) has been watched over 250,000 times. The Facebook livestream had 5.7 million views; the Periscope video through @AmericaAppeal had over 450,000 views; and OneAmericaAppeal.org had over 100,000 users in the first 24 hours. On Twitter, the campaign had 1.5 million impressions of its tweets from @AmericaAppeal.
“Deep from the Heart” was also broadcast live (all or in part) by Fox News Channel, CNN, C-SPAN and NewsMax. On radio, iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks simulcast the event across Texas – to Corpus, Beaumont, Houston, Bryan, McAllen and Waco.
“We could not be more grateful to the broad range of media partners that helped us bring our ‘Deep from the Heart’ appeal to a global audience,” said David Jones, CEO of the Bush Library Foundation that organized the event. “We especially want to thank YouTube, Twitter and Facebook who came together behind this important cause helping our fellow Americans recover from this devastating hurricane season.”
Just prior to the concert on Saturday, One America Appeal announced raising over $31 million since the start of the campaign on September 7th following Hurricane Harvey. The campaign expanded twice to encompass recovery efforts in Florida from Hurricane Irma, and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria.
During her surprise performance Saturday night, Lady Gaga announced that she is donating to the One America Appeal to support the mental and emotional recovery of survivors in Texas and Florida. The funds are a part of her commitment to donate $1 million to help those impacted by recent natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Tax-deductible donations of any amount are being accepted at OneAmericaAppeal.org, and cell phone users can text “OneAmerica” to 50555 to give $10. A special restricted account has been established through the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation to collect and distribute donations to every dollar given goes to assist hurricane victims. Donations will be distributed to:
* Houston Harvey Relief Fund, focusing on the greater Houston region
* Rebuild Texas Fund, assisting hurricane-ravaged communities across the state
* Florida Disaster Fund
* Juntos y Unidos Por Puerto Rico, launched by First Lady Beatriz Rossello and a private sector coalition
* The Fund for the Virgin Islands
I had the good fortune to be at this event doing photography. Below are a few of my photos from this great event.
Back in 1973 I started working for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C. as a photographer for the department. I traveled on assignments photographing urban development of cities around the country. Also at HUD I was a part of the HUD FEMA Disaster Team and photographed U.S. Senate hearings and on occasion I would even cover events at the White House. One of my favorite things to photograph and be a part of was when we worked with Habitat for Humanity. I was fortunate enough to travel around the world on Habitat builds and work with several U.S. Presidents as they supported Habitat for Humanity.
As I moved back home to Texas I got involved as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County in Texas
This past week we did a panel build in Round Rock, Texas for a home that will finally be built in Cedar Park, Texas. As I understand it this new home will go to a women and her family who immigrated from Ethiopia.
What an honor for me to be a part of Habitat for Humanity for all these years. Below are some photos from our panel build this past week.
As some of you know I own a 2002 C5 Torch Red Corvette and have been into Corvettes since my time at Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico where my best friends brother had a Corvette. We used to drive his Corvette around town to the hang out drive inns showing off his Corvette. Anyway, that introduced me to Corvetting and I have had 3 Corvettes over the years.
This year the Texas Coast was hit by Hurricane Harvey. Sweet Rides of Central Texas which is a Facebook car enthusiast page did a fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin,Texas for the victims. !00% of the money raised, and I understand Sweet Rides of Central Texas raised $7000 in 4 hours, went to victims of Hurricane Harvey distributed by the Salvation Army. Sweet Rides is known for doing charity events using their great cars to attract participants and or kids who have medical issues. As a participant in these charity car events I usually take photos highlighting Sweet Rides of Central Texas. I am a Nikon user and have been for 50 years. One of my favorite Nikons that I use now is the NikonD750. I like it because of the Wifi option. Usually at the charity events I will take photos on my Nikon D750, transfer the images I like to my iPhone6 Plus (getting ready to upgrade to the iPhoneX) and then post on Facebook to highlight the cars and the charity event. We should all find time to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community.
The Briscoe Center for American History in Austin, Texas partnership with C-SPAN to publicize the center’s photojournalism collections will begin on Sunday on C-SPAN 3. The center video-recorded a series of oral history interviews with photojournalists who had donated their collections to the center. (These interviews coincided with the celebrations around the center’s News to History: Photojournalism and the President exhibit opening.)
C-SPAN will begin screening edited versions of these interviews weekly from Sunday, beginning with Frank Johnston. Other interviews include those with Eric Draper, Darryl Heikes, Lucian Perkins, and your fellow council members
David Valdez and Diana Walker.
The interviews will air on Sundays at 6pm and 10pm CT. For more information, you can visit the series page.: