I Love My Job: The Mayor’s Photographer Samantha Madera
She's 26 and has a busier schedule than you.
The one person in Philadelphia with a schedule as busy as the Mayor’s is his photographer — 26-year-old Samantha Madera. She’s been by Kenney’s side since day one and she’s constantly been on the go since then. Here’s some insight into her day-to-day.
I grew up in… Philadelphia. I’ve never lived anywhere else and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
My parents taught me… to always do my best.
My first job was… as a cashier at Body Central in The Gallery.
The first time I picked up a camera… it was a Fisher-Price toy camera as a toddler. As a teenager, I always had a disposable camera with me.
I became Kenney’s photographer when… he became Mayor in January 2016.
Kenney’s good side is… when he visits a PHLpreK. His face just lights up.
The hardest part of my job is… the hours. Some days are longer than others.
When I’m hungry on the job I… snack on whatever is in my purse.
My schedule typically looks like… a variety of different events. My daily schedule never looks the same. In one day, we can visit a school, hold a press conference and attend an awards ceremony. The next day, we can be at a community event, a parade and gala.
One of my favorite photo shoots was… Mayor Kenney in a dunk tank at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation staff picnic. It was priceless.
I don’t spend enough time… in the office. I’m constantly on the go.
The camera I use on a daily basis is… a Canon EOS 6D.
A celebrity I’d love to photograph is… Justin Timberlake. I love his music and would love to photograph him performing live.
The strangest thing I’ve had to photograph Kenney doing is… him being dressed as Buddy the Elf.
For those of you looking to break into photography, I suggest… going out and shooting as much as possible. Also, get out of your comfort zone. You’ll never know what you can achieve if you don’t try.
On a regular day, you won’t ever catch me without… my iPhone. I’m always taking photos on it in addition to on my camera.
A photographer I look up to is…Pete Souza, the former Chief Official White House photographer for President Obama. His work is breathtaking.
The best photo apps are… Adobe Photoshop Express and Snapseed.
I recently binge-watched… Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. It’s one of my favorite shows.
A hobby of mine that doesn’t involve a camera is… cooking (and eating!) I love trying new recipes.
If I weren’t the Mayor’s photographer I’d be… a food photographer. I’m that person who’s always taking a photo of my food before I eat it.
The paparazzi are… intrusive.
One skill I’m still honing… is photographing sporting events.
The hardest event I had to photograph was… the DNC. The schedule was hectic.
The best part of my job is… the amazing and dedicated people I work with.