My introduction to photography came from a cycling and photography class in sixth grade. Both have been a constant in my life since then. Most recently, I had the honor to combine both to share moments of the W100K bike ride, hosted by President George W. Bush.
The W100K highlights the bravery and sacrifice of warriors wounded in the global war on terror, as well as organizations that have made continuing commitments to support America’s heroes. The ride is 100 kilometers (62 miles) and is spread over three days in the Spring and takes place at different state parks in Texas.
I served as Deputy Director of Photography for the White House Photo Office from 2001 to 2007. A mutual love of mountain biking created a close bond between President Bush and me when we started riding together in 2004. After leaving office, the President asked me to contribute my time and talents to the ride for wounded warriors. I have been honored to do so for the last two years.
Contrary to what many think, riding with a 65 year old retiree isn’t easy! The President rides hard and has been known to leave behind secret service agents, triathletes and road riders who underestimate his abilities. This makes for great photos, but also makes my job twice as hard since I would ride ahead of the group to take a shot and then catch back up in a full sprint – all the time having a DSLR on my back! Riding and shooting gave me a unique perspective on the warrior’s motivation to not let their injuries slow them down. It was inspriring and made me appreciate how fortunate most of us are.
Through the generosity of Pictage, each warrior received an album of the best moments of the ride. The albums were a huge hit with not only the riders but the President as well. He keeps a copy on his desk in Dallas and shows each visitor who drops by. As with weddings, sharing moments and emotions is really rewarding and having my images given to the warriors as a gift from President is a huge honor.
About Paul Morse
Paul Morse is a Washington, D.C. based corporate photographer. With an approach to image making that employs a sensitivity to the delicacies of light and a masterful understanding of space and form, Paul’s unique talent enables him to produce striking photographs that succinctly communicate through a language of artfulness and craft.
Paul’s subtle, confident approach has earned him the trust of the President and other world leaders while working at the White House as Deputy Director of Photography from 2001 until 2007 when he desired a new outlet for his creativity.
Paul has been published in magazines and newspapers around the world including Sports Illustrated, Time, US News and World Report, Mens Journal and the New York Times Magazine. His photographs have illustrated the covers of many books on subjects such as the Decision Points by President George W. Bush, Air Force One, the Oval Office and the Los Angeles Lakers. His images are on display in the Smithsonian Institution.
Recent clients include the Brookings Institute, Goldman Sachs, The Clinton Global Initiative, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The International Finance Corporation, The Wall Street Journal and ING DIRECT.
Prior to the White House, Paul worked at the Los Angeles Times as a staff photographer for six years, covering sports, news, and the entertainment industry. His career began at the Pasadena Star-News after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach.