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Unscripted moments on the campaign trail

David Goldman / AP

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, reaches out from his car window to grab a book to autograph for a supporter as he leaves a campaign stop on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Rock Hill, S.C.

Jason Reed / Reuters

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has his earlobes rubbed backstage by his wife Callista before speaking at the Art Trails Gallery in Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 17. The South Carolina Primary will be held on January 21.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, speaks on his phone after getting into an elevator before he addresses Business Speaks, a business and economic forum hosted by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.

Eric Thayer / Reuters

Republican presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry greets a man at the BIPEC GOP Primary Candidates Forum in Columbia, South Carolina Jan. 17.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets people during a campaign rally on Jan.17 in Florence, South Carolina.

 Most political campaigns are very protective of the images that the public sees. Carefully staged events with large flags draped as a backdrop, full venues packed with supporters and a smiling, upbeat candidate are the image they want to project.

Photographs are a powerful way to reinforce or question voters’ pre-conceived notions about the candidates. Most campaign managers understand this very well and limit photojournalists’ access to their candidate to better control the public’s impressions. Most photojournalists I know, as a rule, despise the staged events and prefer to find a real moment that may reflect their subject’s personality or lend insight to an issue. These images taken on Tuesday are some of the best examples of photojournalists working hard to bring us a view beyond the scripted events.