On Monday, August 24, Associated Press staff photographer Jacquelyn Martin took over AP Images' Instagram feed with her photo essay offering a behind the scenes look at the U.S. Secret Service. Below, Martin explains her ongoing interest in the agency and provides insight into her compelling photo essay.
The U.S. Secret Service is the agency charged with protecting the life of U.S. President Barack Obama, and celebrated its 150th birthday this past July.
According to a recent AP article, the scandal-plagued agency has been in the spotlight since 2012 when more than a dozen agents and officers were caught up in a prostitution scandal in advance of a presidential trip to Colombia. Since then, a series of embarrassing security incidents has left the agency on its third director in less than three years.
Despite the agency's troubles, the men and women who serve as agents continue to put themselves in harms way, willing to take a bullet for the President of the United States. They serve long hours away from their families and homes, dedicating their lives to serving the country in this unique way. No matter the party in power, these agents put their lives on the line every day.
As one of the AP photographers covering the White House I have an inside view. From within the traveling press corps, I became fascinated by the Secret Service and its visual alphabet of dark suits, sunglasses, and earpieces. It's important for me as a photographer to find personal projects to work on, and it was during this coverage that I began to look for moments happening among the Secret Service agents to form this essay. The agency has its own intricate choreography in place as the agents stay vigilant against all threats.
These photos are a look at the Secret Service from inside the bubble.