The White House has released the official portraits of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. An interesting thing is that they were taken on a Sony A9 II, unlike portraits of two former presidents that were shot on Canon cameras. Also, these are the first Presidential portraits to be shot on a mirrorless camera.
The White House have released new official portraits for both President Trump and Vice President Pence. Pence’s actually looks pretty good, but Trump’s? Not so much. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it just looks like a smartphone grab shot with ambient room light.
The portraits were shot by two different photographers. Shealah Craighead and D. Myles Cullen photographed Trump and Pence, respectively. The newly released Trump portrait does offer a more friendly pose and expression than the last one, but the bad lighting and messy background really lets it down.
There’s an interesting story about the oldest presidential portrait known so far. The sixth U.S. president John Quincy Adams sat for a photographer in August 1843, and the daguerreotype emerged in an antique shop in 1970, priced at 50 cents. Today it sits in the National Portrait Gallery as the oldest survived photo of an American president. However, today, almost 50 years later, another daguerreotype has appeared. It’s older, and it also seems to have an interesting story.
Former presidential photographer Pete Souza has found himself in the familiar role again. This time, he photographed the fictional president Frank Underwood from House of Cards. Kevin Spacey plays the president in this popular Netflix series, and he played the role perfectly in front of Souza’s lens.
Souza, Spacey and Michael Kelly (who plays chief of staff Doug Stamper) were hitting the iconic landmarks of Washington D.C., taking photos for “presidential” portfolio. Souza has already shared some of the photos on his Instagram profile. And as always, he’s done a fantastic job.
Former White House photographer Pete Souza has announced a new book. Titled “Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs,” the book shows around 300 of the photographer’s favorite and most iconic images from the years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Some are the photos we’re familiar with, and some of them have never been seen before.
The importance of presidential photography cannot be understated in today’s visual world. Although the bulk of photography since the inception of regular presidential photography in the 1950s still consists of “grip and grin” photo ops, White House photographers have sought to capture a more intimate look at the leader of the free world. Press access to the President varies by administration (a criticism that dogged the Obama administration), but White House photographers have access to private or top secret moments that are a vital part of the historical record – from 9/11 to the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
“I’m going to document every meeting that you have. It’s for history,” said Pete Souza, Chief White House Photographer under President Barack Obama, in an interview with National Geographic. “This job is about access and trust, and if you have both of those, hopefully you’re going to make interesting and historic pictures.”
Here is an argument that may shut the race for new gear. President’s Trump’s official portrait was taken with a Canon 1Ds Mark III. Now, it’s a great camera, but it’s also almost a decade into the market. It was announced in august, 2007. President Obama’s portrait, on the other hand, was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II. (Obama was also the first president to have his portrait taken with a digital camera – and we owe that to Pete Souza). Obama’s second portrait, by the way, was taken with a 5D mark III (Announced March, 2012)
Here is the interesting thing though, the 5D mark II was announced on Sep, 2008, it’s actually a year newer than the 1Ds Mk III that was used to photograph president Trump.