I've photographed the nationwide gathering of conservatives known as CPAC for four years now. Each year, I enter the windowless Marriott where it's held, contending with the muddy orange light offset only by the crisp LED lights that are trained on the latest rising star in the Republican party. These walking packs of shouting reporters, over-reaching security guards (I'm looking at you, Santorum handlers) and every conservative blogger within eight hundred miles give regular citizens one of their few opportunities to view these people close up as they thread their way through the CPAC floor.
Each year, I talk to huge numbers of exceedingly polite teenagers in suits and ties, see some vile t-shirts/stickers for sale and try to find something that's maybe a little more nuanced, a little less reactive than the year before. This year, I couldn't shake the eerie, red stage lights that bled into the dark corners of the rooms and touched those on the margins of the event.