Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg takes to the stage to speak at his Primary Night rally at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tue., Feb. 11, 2020. Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was projected to win the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, but Buttigieg came in a close second.

I couldn't be more excited to have one of my images included in TIME's Top 100 Photos of 2020 and the magazine's Best Photojournalism of 2020. It's an image of then-presidential-candidate Pete Buttigieg walking out on stage for his speech on the night of New Hampshire's First in the Nation Primary. He didn't win the primary that night, but came remarkably close, and with the uncertainty of the previous week's Iowa Caucus results, it felt like the Democratic presidential primary could go any way that night. As I remember, it was a really late night, and it took a long time for the event to start. Audience emotions were up and down during the wait. When I saw the stage set-up, I knew exactly where I wanted to be for the entrance, and I think I was the only photographer up there. The room was so full that they almost didn't let me go back into the lower part of the gym, but I finally talked my way back in, but this image of the entrance really told the story. I filed the picture and it was published first on TIME's instagram, if I remember right, and then in an online piece. I'm not sure if it ever made it to print.

I'm a bit ashamed to admit that it wasn't until the next morning, after a bit of rest and a chance to look through the whirlwind of the previous days' work, that I noticed Buttigieg's husband, Chasten Buttigieg absolutely beaming from backstage, a tiny little detail that I feel really makes the picture sing and which wouldn't have been possible to see without my flash. The stage-lights overpowered everything else in the gym, and exposing for that "natural" light makes it all but impossible to see what's happening behind the scenes. In this case, we get to see the pride and joy of a supportive partner at the pinnacle moment of a political campaign.

A huge thanks to Paul, Katherine, Kim, and the rest of the team at TIME for their support both this year and last, and in previous years. I believe this is the second time I've been included in one of TIME's year-end Top Photos of the year lists and it's such a huge honor to be included among so much powerful work by some of the best photojournalists working now. Here's a link to the rest of the work:

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