Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/19

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Tipper & Al Gore and M-cameras
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 10:35:30 -0700
References: <>

Austin Franklin wrote:
> > Calley is  "Personal Photographer  to the Vice-President."
> I guess I'm paying for this 'personal service', right?<<<<<<<<<<<<

Hi Austin,
You guessed it!  :-)

It's part of the fun of paying taxes to help support the income of the
President's and VP's personal staff. :-)

One photo position I found myself in at varying times during the past
was as "personal photographer" to the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal
Opposition.  And for a short time, the same for the Prime Minister.

The funding for this position comes from the overall budget allotted for
the operation of the PM's office or in the US, the President or VP's
office.  Generally the reason for this "photog position" is to record
the actives of the President or PM for the historical archives of a

Some officials carry this to the extreme with large photo staffs, others
have one shooter and that's it.  In reality it's a terrible job,  as
glamorous as some may think it is,  it is far from it!  You never go to
bed until you know the guy has crashed himself.  As you may be called to
take some mickey mouse photo situation.

The majority of the picture taking is the "Grip & Grin"  hand shakes by
the thousands. Believe me, you can only do so many different hand shake
angles! ;-)  

Oh and those overseas tours? The pits! As you don't see anything but
getting in and out of vehicles, usually on the run, a few moments in
private shooting another grip & grin, eating at the strangest hours.....
or not all!    You may do 4 different countries taking the same images
in 2 days!

And the material?  You don't own it nor can you use it, as much of it's
behind the scenes images  and  "private moments" only for the use of the
"big guy."   Or the National Archives in the future.

I suppose there two ways of looking at this.  One, pissed off because
your tax money is perceived at being wasted photographing some dolt
politician, this attitude usually relates to ones political leanings.  :-)

The other, that it's a necessary cost in recording the life and times of
a  Nation and in keeping with the recording of that for future citizens
of said country.  By any way you look at it, it's not the greatest
photog position in the world! 

Just a few points in the life of being a personal photographer to a
Prime Minister.

In reply to: Message from Austin Franklin <> (RE: [Leica] Tipper & Al Gore and M-cameras)