All politics aside -- The Presidents Photographer

Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,832Moderator
edited April 2013 in Fun & Weird
What an amazing, challenging and moving job it would be to be labeled as: The Official Photographer of The President (USA).

Looking forward in getting this book and flipping the pages.

Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush
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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,832Moderator
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • GarethGareth Posts: 158Member
    The real reason the white house is white...

    bounce flash
  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    I don't know if it's actually such an amazing job. Working conditions might sometimes be hectic and stressful to say the least (compared to a well planned studio shoot for example) but it's definitely going to be an interesting and challenging assignment.
    I might have to put the book on my list of potential Christmas gifts. ;)
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 2,845Member
    I was once in the West Wing of the White House to meet with some people working there and the walls in the hallway were full of amazing candid photos of the president and his family. They were printed about 16 x 20 inch size. Looking at them I realized a photographer (or more than one) must be assigned to document a presidency and there must be tens of thousands of photos taken which we never see. Perhaps they end up in that president's presidential library.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,832Moderator
    @donaldejose: You are quite right. There is a staff that is assigned to work with the Presidents Photographer. and the thousands photo's taken do end up at his library and other places like: The Library of Congress.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • turnthedarncranksturnthedarncranks Posts: 116Member
    It would be interesting to know what kind of increase (if any) the switch to digital caused in the total number of photos the staff photographers take during an administration.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 2,845Member
    edited April 2013
    Great video. I watched all parts. I see the current photographer uses Cannon and I noticed him (and others) using the simple old fashioned bounce flash "trick" of sticking a piece of a white recipe card (about the size of a business card) into the flash pointed at the ceiling to bounce a catchlight into the eyes. All those modern bounce flash devices now on the market and they still use the old recipe card trick! I have to go back to that!

    I was there about 30 years ago in the days of film and the photos on the wall were not as large as they are today. They were more like 16x20 inch size. Today it looks like they are using more like 20x30 inch size for most of the photos on display. I am sure fewer photos were taken during film days and getting them into prints was more difficult. I am sure the digital age makes the process from shutter trip to wall hanging faster and easier.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • jjdarlingjjdarling Posts: 59Member
    edited April 2013
    The current WH photographer is Pete Souza, and his twitter feed is really great. He takes really interesting photos, and publishes from camera to Twitter pretty quickly: https://twitter.com/petesouza

    ETA: Just realized the video was about him, not about GWB's (don't know if it was the same guy), either way, bears mentioning, and the twitter account is still great.
    Post edited by jjdarling on
    www.jjdarling.com
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    I couldn't do it. President, Prime Minister, Lindsay Lohan, Mother Teresa, Fidel Castro, any public figure.

    Sooner or later there would need to be a photo expressly not taken, or a photo buried. I couldn't bring myself to do that.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    edited April 2013
    I am wondering how long the photog keeps the job. It would seem like a very stressful situation and actually could become boring if too many restrictions are in place.

    Also, the support staff must be good so the photog has only to worry about taking photos and hands off to his assistant for post processing.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,832Moderator
    To the best of my understanding msmoto, The Presidents Photographer goes ANYWHERE The President or his cabinet goes. He has the Unlimited Access.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    Yes, I understand the issue of clearance, but one must always be aware of other restrictions. My guess is, as pointed out in the video, the judgement of the photographer is so good, he has become a close friend of the family and thus is allowed full freedom to utilize his own good discretion. And, the staff behind him must also have the clearance and good judgement. Nice set up!
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,832Moderator
    edited April 2013
    I'm sure the photographer does not take pictures of The President conducting his business in the bathroom...if you get my meaning :P
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • blandbland Posts: 809Member
    I saw a tv special (I think it was on NOVA) on the President's photographers and it was really quite interesting. There's one assigned to the president and they are given alternates to use when the main one needs a break. The President's photog shoots all day and edits into the early morning on most days. It really looked like a tough job, as far as keeping up with the daily assignments but the Presidents never over load the photographer, except one.

    That one is President Obama who wants ever moment of his day shot and then has staff members view the shots for his approval on a daily basis.

    Senators and Congressmen have their own photographers as well but they aren't used on a daily basis.
  • ibecameweibecamewe Posts: 32Member
    Thank you bland for Sharing such a nice information. Video are amazing Golf007sd :)
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Bland writes in part: "...who wants ever moment of his day shot and then has staff members view the shots for his approval on a daily basis"

    --and that would be the dealbreaker for me.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I saw a tv special (I think it was on NOVA) on the President's photographers and it was really quite interesting. There's one assigned to the president and they are given alternates to use when the main one needs a break. The President's photog shoots all day and edits into the early morning on most days. It really looked like a tough job, as far as keeping up with the daily assignments but the Presidents never over load the photographer, except one.
    I'm not sure if it was that show, or another (G.W. Bush Photog) who was interviewed. What I wanted to hear more about was the catalogue software he used - it was very high-end and very powerful. At that time he said, no image could be deleted, even blanks, completely missed shots etc. (hopefully that has changed in the last 6-7 years for their sake.) The workflow seemed like something that would be very interesting to hear about. They were talking about shooting, and storing 100k photos a month! That is an insane amount.

    Very few photo jobs have that amount of work to keep absolute track of. I would love to see all the "backside" workings.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,796Member
    To the best of my understanding msmoto, The Presidents Photographer goes ANYWHERE The President or his cabinet goes. He has the Unlimited Access.
    Are you sure he has unlimited access?

    Even to photograph the football? :D
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • blandbland Posts: 809Member

    I'm not sure if it was that show, or another (G.W. Bush Photog) who was interviewed. What I wanted to hear more about was the catalogue software he used - it was very high-end and very powerful. At that time he said, no image could be deleted, even blanks, completely missed shots etc. (hopefully that has changed in the last 6-7 years for their sake.) The workflow seemed like something that would be very interesting to hear about. They were talking about shooting, and storing 100k photos a month! That is an insane amount.

    Very few photo jobs have that amount of work to keep absolute track of. I would love to see all the "backside" workings.
    I bet they're all stored in their Presidential Library's. I would find it extremely interesting seeing what their actual day consisted of. I shoot a lot of pictures on the weekends but I've never shot 1,000 shots on any given day and they're talking about over 3,000 shots every day. If I was President I'd find that at annoyance but obviously they don't.

  • BabaGanoushBabaGanoush Posts: 205Member
    "he said no image could be deleted, even blanks, completely missed shots etc. "

    I remember that too. The reason for that is the shots are the property of the National Archive and by law must be given to the National Archivist for cataloging and safe-keeping. I assume that the photos that make it to any presidential library are copies of the original ones stored in the National Archives, or perhaps some of them are originals put out on long-term loan (the presidential libraries fall under the jurisdiction of the National Archive Administration). It's all a lot of taxpayer-gouging ego building for these politicians. Most of what they do during the day is plain boring crap of little historical interest, but apparently every one of them thinks he's so important and has done such a terrific job he has to have a "Library" of his own. On the other hand, the Oval Office is "bugged" and everything that goes on in there is recorded for later deposit in the National Archives, again by law. After the Watergate scandal Congress ordered that all official meetings, conversations, emails, electronic transmissions (via Blackberry or cell phone), etc., had to be recorded or transcribed and deposited in the National Archives. IIRC, Nixon had asserted that such materials, even the official stuff, was his personal property, but Congress told him to take the next helicopter ride out of town.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,832Moderator
    edited May 2013
    @BabaGanoush: 1) Given the fact that almost 99% of all photo's taken of The President is digital, then one could argue that anyone of them that is printed is an original. They may each have their own unique serial number but still each is still a print.

    Lastly, your whole stab of The Oval Office, The White House, Congress and Nixon's all lack the truth about what is and what is not. We keep politics out of our forum, thus I will not elaborate on your error...however should you like some fact's PM me and I will correct your miss typed keystrokes.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    Great find, that video was fascinating and illuminating. Watched every part with interest.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    The title of this thread starts, "All politics aside..."
    @BabaGanoush, your opinion on the value of the presidential libraries is just that, your opinion. Keep it to yourself. I suggest you actually visit one of the 13 presidential libraries and take some photos :-)
    A few facts:
    In each case, funds from private and non-federal public sources provided the funds to build the library. Once completed, the private organization turned over the libraries to the National Archives and Records Administration to operate and maintain.
    The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace was not originally part of the presidential library system. While the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff, which administers the Nixon presidential materials under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act, is part of NARA, the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace was run by a private foundation.
    From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_library
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    edited May 2013
    Sorry guys, this has drifted a bit too much into the politics. The original topic is about a photographer who happens to have only one assignment. I think we have covered it.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
This discussion has been closed.