The Who2 Blog

Joe Biden and the Bikers: How a Smart Photographer Got the Shot

Photo of Joe Biden with a biker chick in his lap (actually in a chair in front of him) in a diner

How did Associated Press photographer Carolyn Kaster get the now-iconic shot of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden joking with a biker chick?

She asked for it:

There was a group of bikers clustered at three or four of the tables. It was with those folks that Kaster wanted to catch Biden. “That would be the picture,” Kaster recalls thinking. “They had leather vests and bandannas and a guy with tattoos. Everybody seemed to be having a good time.”

She told Biden’s handlers she’d like to see him pose with the bikers. But then it still took some luck:

Kaster says that the moment that has stirred so much comment occurred just after someone was taking a photo of the group. They were all posing for that photo, says Kaster.

After the photo was taken, she notes, everyone relaxed a bit. It’s only human nature: People are tense just before a posed picture. After the shot, she says, there’s a “moment of relief when you can actually be yourself.”
And that’s when she got the shot.
I can’t get enough of this photo. If it’s not worth one full percentage point of the vote in Ohio, there’s something wrong out there. Biden looks like a real human, warm and funny. And yes, in alpha-male mode. That’s what voters are supposed to be looking for, right?


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