Men always accuse women of being vain, but some men really take vanity to extremes. In an interview about a soon-to-be-released book, it was related that President Donald Trump actually has specific instructions about how he is photographed to display his “best side.” The book, “Ultimate Insiders: White House Photographers and How They Shape History” is due out on October 13. In it, photographers tell all. From the Amazon description:
‘This book shows how official White House photographers have morphed into ultimate insiders within the American presidency, allowed to observe and take pictures of nearly everything Chief Executives do related to their job. The “photogs” have often become close friends with the presidents they served. Using these bonds of trust and their own powers of observation, they created fundamental impressions and public images of the presidents through the art of photography. Acting not only as image makers but as visual historians, they have built pictorial chronicles of the presidency―intimate narratives of America’s leaders in public and private, showing how they dealt with everyday life as well as moments of great crisis and opportunity. From children playing in the Oval Office to sending troops into harm’s way, images created by White House photographers can make or break a presidential administration as well as define an era.’
“Breaking a presidential administration” is apparently what concerns Trump most as it is said that he goes to great lengths to stage his photographs and make sure that he is represented in pictures in the best way possible. At issue are Trump’s lumps — those extra bumps and bulges that look unsightly on camera — specifically his quorum of extra chins. You’d think it would be easier just to lay off the KFC and fast food burgers.
According to author Kenneth Walsh:
‘”It’s clear that for many years Trump has sought to create and enhance an image of being a larger-than-life leader.” Walsh writes in the book due out Oct. 13. That includes, he says, choreographing “his appearances as much as possible to minimize photos of him from the front at a low angle or from the sides, because he thought his double chin became too obvious.”‘
From a report on Washington Examiner:
‘White House news photographers say President Trump loves to have his picture taken, but he is forceful in orchestrating the angles so that the results are positive and don’t capture his double chin, according to a new book about “photodogs.”‘
While our focus is on Trump because he is the current president, the book itself details what it was like to be a photographer under several administrations in the White House.
‘Ultimate Insiders is the latest from Walsh who has covered the White House since 1986 and has written insider books about Camp David, Air Force One, and presidential retreats and summer homes.’
While the book appears too cost prohibitive to land on my book shelf any time in the near future, I might venture out to my local library to borrow it for a read. As we progress into a more visual society, pictures have taken the place of words on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media applications that we use to communicate. You can be assured that photographs, official and unofficial will have a role in telling our history.
Featured image from video screengrab that we got on Bored Panda