Keli Carender goes by Liberty Belle on her blog “Redistributing Knowledge“, and she is credited with starting the Tea Party Movement. She burst onto the political scene last summer while attending a town hall meeting hosted by Democratic Washington Congressman Norm Dicks. She made a speech and waved a $20 bill in the air daring Norm to take it from her and use it as a down payment for health care reform. I wasn’t familiar with the Tea Party Movement when I got this assignment, but I thought it would be awesome to shoot Keli in a way that would look like an old painting from the Revolutionary War era. Thankfully my art director, Benjamen Purvis at Seattle Met loved the idea, and I was also able to get Keli to go for it too. The hardest part was tracking down a period dress from the right era. I should also mention Keli is actually a member of a comedy improv group called The Beta Society. That obviously was a big help when asking her to dress up in costume since she is used to this sort of thing. I don’t expect it would be very easy to get Nanci Pelosi or John McCain to wear a costume for a shoot. Although that would be amazing!
*UPDATE* – This image was published in the 2011 Communication Arts Photography Annual competition.