Missourian photojournalist Michael Cali had a gut feeling.

After all the campaign, convention and election coverage, the day had finally come. It was time to travel to the nation's capital and photograph the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. Cali arrived in Washington and tried not to set any expectations.

"If I was expecting to see certain things, I would find them, and I didn't want to do that," he said. "I wanted to tell the story right."

Still, he was prepared for the possibility of encountering a chaotic situation. Cali had followed the election consistently and was aware of the tense political climate surrounding Trump's election. Camera in hand and phone in pocket, he was in downtown Washington by 4 a.m. on Jan. 20.

The day began peacefully enough. Cali had just wrapped up documenting a prayer breakfast hosted by Trump supporters when he said he heard a commotion, a whistling sound and chanting outside. Following the noise, Cali came upon his first small group of protesters. Curiosity led him through the streets as protests continued to pop up around the area. Eventually Cali found himself in the midst of a large protest led by the Antifa, an anti-facist group clad all in black.

Cali's camera was already on, but he hit another button before running to cover the group: the live video feature on Facebook. The video below lends a look at the protests through Cali's eyes and explores the reason behind the decision to follow the group, take photos and live stream.

The protest concluded with 90 arrests, six of which were journalists now being charged with felonies, The New York Times reported. Cali avoided that fate.

  • Currently an Assistant Director of Photography // Education reporter, Spring 2016; Staff Photographer, Fall 2016; Photo Editor, Spring 2017 // Graduate stude studying photojournalism // Reach me at opaggiarino@live.com or in the newsroom at 882-5720 Twit

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