Photographer explains how he took the viral photo of Trump’s notes

Nov 24, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Photographer explains how he took the viral photo of Trump’s notes

Nov 24, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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I’m sure you’ve seen a photo of Trump’s notepad filled with all-caps letters scribbled with a Sharpie. It’s been all over social media, and it has already become a meme material. Getty Images photographer Mark Wilson is the man who took this photo. In a recent interview, he revealed more of how he got the shot that went viral overnight.

In a conversation with Wired, Wilson revealed that many reporters who would have covered Trump’s remarks on Tuesday were busy covering the impeachment hearings. However, he said that the area where photographers and reporters were stationed was still pretty crowded.

If you’re curious about the gear, Wilson had brought a Canon 1DX, a 100–400mm lens, and a 24–35mm lens. It’s not stated which focal length he used to take the photo of the notes, but I believe that he used the zoom lens. When the press conference began, Trump started reading from his notes and waving his arms. This gave Wilson a clear view of the notes.

“I quickly noticed that the pad contained large handwritten notes in Sharpie and focused my camera to capture what was on the page,” he told Wired. And so he captured a photo that has already become iconic.

Wired notes that at the moment of taking the photo, Wilson didn’t realize that he’d captured an “instantly iconic moment.” He said that he was “just taking a picture of a page of notes.” But after Getty Images tweeted the photo and it went viral, it was obvious just how important this photo may be. At first glance, sure, it’s funny and it’s definitely meme material. But if you dig just a bit deeper, this photo tells you something about Trump, his rule, and how he sees himself.

“I am always trying to take a picture that no one else has. As news consumers, we tend to see the same images from press conferences day after day, and sometimes situations arise that allow me to use my expertise to take a picture that is really quite unique and different.”

[via Wired, Reddit; image credits: Gage Skidmore on Flickr]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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17 responses to “Photographer explains how he took the viral photo of Trump’s notes”

  1. Christine Kwiecinski Avatar
    Christine Kwiecinski

    And tweets underneath that

  2. Jore Puusa Avatar
    Jore Puusa

    The picture “went” viral. Meaning its was stolen byt thousands of people. What kind of copyright the photographer has, who paid him?

    1. jack324 Avatar
      jack324

      There are some things that copyright laws simply cannot protect you from. One of them is everyone using your photo. Sure you can sue, but can you afford to sue a 1000+ people? Maybe sue them all at once, but that would be quite the court room scene. Eventually it simply won’t be worth it. Best case you sue a big publisher and get a good settlement. Beyond that good luck. You’ll never get them all to pay.

      1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
        Arthur_P_Dent

        Sue the biggest publisher, get a big award in court, and then you go to the others and ask them if they would rather settle than be forced to pay like the first guy.

      2. Jore Puusa Avatar
        Jore Puusa

        When a video goes viral it is stolen. Funny that this is not discussed more.
        I`m not suing anybody just wondering why theft is so understood and popular. Considered as a nice thing. Where is the morals of people..? Just wondering as a very old man.

  3. Gary Sthland Avatar
    Gary Sthland

    Someone needs to show the Trump the meaning of finger spacing

  4. Better P Borg Avatar
    Better P Borg

    “Wilson had brought a Canon 1DX, a 100–400mm lens, and a 24–35mm lens. It’s not stated which focal length he used to take the photo of the notes, but I believe that he used the zoom lens”. – captain obvious

    “Guy brought two zoom lenses, pretty sure he used the zoom lense..”

    1. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
      Jolyon Ralph

      If you don’t zoom the zoom lens is it still a zoom lens?

  5. Larry McManus Avatar
    Larry McManus

    Fake

  6. JOhn C Avatar
    JOhn C

    Great DIY…

  7. JustChristoph Avatar
    JustChristoph

    Am I the only person who’s noticed that the note was in oversize script using a black marker pen and placed in clear view to absolutely ensure that it would be photographed. My Mum would have made that shot.

    1. Kevin Christian Avatar
      Kevin Christian

      Yo’ Grannie isn’t a WH Photographer!

  8. Rickey J. Farmer Sr. Avatar
    Rickey J. Farmer Sr.

    Lot of assumptions about the President. Those that have memory will remember what you were taught in journalism speaking class. Or any other communication class, your material should be clear as to support the speaking engagement. Simple logic. You anti President people out there need to smarten up a little. I know that’s asking a lot but the shades over your eyes and ears are making you all look foolish.

    1. Rickey J. Farmer Sr. Avatar
      Rickey J. Farmer Sr.

      Sean Hoyt the President does many things a day on levels not easily understood. All speakers have notes and so does he.

    2. Jore Puusa Avatar
      Jore Puusa

      44 million US citizens can hardly understand what they read and 33 million are totally illiterate.
      Seems to be that Your poor president has the very same problems. Hm..for a developing country like USA that is understantable.
      Greeting from northern Europe where our presidents can both read and write. And do not lie all the time.

  9. jason bourne Avatar
    jason bourne

    Are you sure it was a Sharpie and not a crayon?

  10. Scott Sager Avatar
    Scott Sager

    This exceptionally excellent journalistic photo speaks volumes about the subject. It does exactly what a journalism photo should. Way-to-go Brian Stelter!