Shealah Craighead, President Trump’s photographer in the White House, recently gave an interview to PBS on working for the president.
Craighead said of Trump that “what you see on TV is exactly what you get off camera. I like that.”
Check it out:
For both of us, it’s getting to know your client, as much as they’re getting to know you as a photographer and a person. There’s a level of trust we have to establish with each other. That in time will unfold into a level of comfort and access. Then once that’s established the comfort level comes.
And with this particular situation, with the president and myself not having known him before, not having a relationship on the campaign, or a working relationship, it takes a lot longer to have someone comfortable in your personal space.
She went on:
He likes photos, that’s no secret. I’m happy to engage in that. Both for him and the administration and the country, and his private archives later on down the road. You learn what they like or don’t like, preferences in terms of space or lighting.
Craighead said, ultimately, it’s just like building trust in any other relationship.
I think it’s slowly been worked into over time, my style is different, and I didn’t come in cameras and gun blazing, saying, “this is my job and I’m entitled to do this or that.” I came in with the expectation that I’m going to need to gain the trust of a client and person who I have not worked with before, who’s thinking, why am I following him around 16 hours a day with a camera? Once we got through that part, he was able to see my style and gain the trust that I’m very protective over the images that go out for both of our sakes. His failure is my failure, if he gets flak for that that’s on me. I err on the side of caution.
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