Photography by Cameron Carnes
As photographer Cameron Carnes discovered, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, who represents the seventh district of Alabama, is a very busy lady. Carnes reached out to Sewell and asked if he could shadow her for a day, hoping to showcase the many varied responsibilities of those who represent us. “My purpose for this story was to show some of the responsibilities of elected representatives. A lot of people have misconceptions about how much work it is to be a member of Congress—it’s a lot!” Carnes explains.
Over the course of his day with Sewell, she held town hall meetings in her district, met with constituents, presented a medal, toured public housing, got a pin from a 4H club, and visited a museum. They were on the move all day long, driving along Alabama highways from Sawyerville to Greensboro to Eutaw and more. It was clearly a full day, but a memorable one. Certain moments stand out to Carnes, like the medal presentation to Theresa Burroughs, held at the Safe House Black History Museum in Greensboro. “Presenting a Congressional Gold Medal for foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement was incredibly touching,” Carnes says. “I didn’t even know about the Safe House Black History Museum, and I was so glad I got the opportunity to see it while witnessing something so poignant.”
At the end of the day, Carnes, though exhausted, was grateful to have witnessed just a portion of Sewell’s work and how she’s contributing to the community she represents. “It was tiring and exhilarating. There was lots going on during the day, but plenty of excitement to keep you going. I was surprised by the amount of energy Congresswoman Sewell has. I should never run for Congress,” Carnes says with a laugh. “And it was a joy to see how much her constituents seem to love her.”