March 30, 2015 Delmondo

Behind the Scenes of My White House Snapchat Story

The White House invited 20 Instagram users to visit in celebration of Instagram’s 11th World Wide Instameet this year, it’s the second or third time they’ve done this. Thousands of people applied for the opportunity, so I had no expectation of being chosen. In my application, I shared about how I travel the world telling stories about some of the most interesting people and places I come across. Having just returned from Israel, Zimbabwe and Dubai, it’s only fitting that my next stop would be the White House.

I was blown away when I received an email from an official White House email address a week later, inviting me to fly across the country to visit the historic building. I quickly sent all my information to the Secret Service. Apparently they did a full background check on me and I passed, goofy hair and all.

Very few guests are granted the opportunity to visit the White House these days. And when they are, cameras aren’t allowed and entire rooms are roped off. For this visit, they allowed cameras and iPhones through security and removed all the ropes and barriers.

With such an amazing and unique experience, I knew I’d have to maximize the opportunity to share this story with others. I decided that in addition to shooting photos to share on Instagram, I’d also create the first ever Snapchat story from inside the White House.

This was such an incredible opportunity to experience something very few others ever get to experience. I love that I got to bring others into the experience with me through photos, videos and stories. Thank you so much to the entire team at the White House to helped bring this together. It was truly an honor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Q3Jm5DNzQ

 

I only got in trouble from Secret Security three or four times for little things like walking on the grass, getting too close to hundred year old statues and trying to slide down banisters. You know, normal stuff.

Here are a few of the photos I shared from my experience:

 

 

A photo posted by Branden Harvey (@brandenharvey) on

 

Pete (@petesouza) was my first favorite photographer. I first fell in love with his ability to tell compelling stories through photos when he covered Senator Obama’s rise to the White House. He’s photographed countless world leaders, celebrities and important moments. He served as a staff photographer under Reagan and now serves as the Chief White House photographer for President Obama.

When asked if he still gets nervous while shooting important events for the President, Pete said he doesn’t really get nervous anymore. He previously shot photos in two war zones and had a few really close calls. After that kind of experience, shooting photos when nobody is shooting at you can’t really compare.

Pete did say though, that he was absolutely starstruck when Julia Roberts gave him a kiss once. True story. I guess that’s kind of like nerves.

There was excitement in each and every room, like history come alive. Thanks again to the White House for letting me come 

This was such an incredible opportunity to experience something very few others ever get to experience. I love that I got to bring others into the experience with me through photos, videos and stories. Thank you so much to the entire team at the White House to helped bring this together. It was truly an honor.

 

– Branden Harvey

 

A photo posted by Branden Harvey (@brandenharvey) on

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