Saturday 28 October 2006 — This is over 16 years old. Be careful.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about our trip to the White House was seeing a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes. The Time magazine White House photographers have a photo blog of those kinds of photos, which I find fascinating: White House Photo of the Day.
Those are some terrific photos by veteran photojournalists. Although the compositions are great, what strikes me is that they aren't an "intimate look at the administration". Rather, they seem to be born out of the lack of access to the president. They are attempts to capture candid moments at the whitehouse, but you'll notice how few involve the president acting candidly.
Most of the pictures are of the support personnel doing their jobs before and after the president arrives for some event. Some are photos of the press gaggle itself, as if the Time photographers grew tired of the canned photo-ops and strained to find something different. They did capture some good moments, but I feel those photos were made out of frustration, not art.
I know Christopher Morris's work, and I'm sure if he had more access to the president (or anyone important), this Time photo essay would be truly intimate. But I don't get that sense here. Instead, we see missed connections and shots taken from far away, from outsiders straining to look in.
It's an subtly accurate reflection of this administration's views toward unscripted press events and image control.
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