Official White House Photographer Gets Candid on Working With Trump

The inauguration of Donald Trump meant the end of Pete Souza’s position as official White House photographer. Stepping into his shoes, Shealah Craighead has spoken for the first time about the experience of shadowing President Trump.

Having previously worked for former First Lady Laura Bush, as well as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Craighead was announced as the Trump administration's official photographer a week after he was inaugurated in January.

Business Insider notes the first photos she took of Trump weren’t published as rapidly as those taken by Souza of President Obama. Speaking to PBS News Hour in what is her first major interview since landing the coveted role, Craighead talked candidly about building initial trust with President Trump and his team.

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 ... 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.

Explaining that at first President Trump was skeptical ("he'd say, 'Why are you here?' Or: 'What are you doing?' Or, 'You have more golf photos of me than [anything else]"), Craighead said in order to gain said his trust she believes she had to demonstrate exactly why her role is important.

Read the interview with Craighead in full at PBS.

[via Business Insider]

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wale ariztos's picture

hopefully her pictures gets better. so far they're average, at best (IMO).

Andrew Ashley's picture

I don't envy her the schedule or pressure... And I completely agree that she needs to focus on what is right in front of her and not on the 24/7 news cycle. Be there and document. I'm sure her style will develop over time, and I'm equally sure that the messaging team is very restrictive of anything going out. This is not the same administration as the last (kind of chuckled when I wrote that) so we will not get that "behind the scenes" feel we came to expect. Anyhoo... looking forward to seeing how her shots evolve with this administration.

michael buehrle's picture

i hope she is getting paid well to put in those crazy hours. but wow, the things she gets to go to and photograph are awesome. i think that her stuff is the same as the past photogs, it's more of a snap shot kind of position most of the time. i would take her spot in a sec though.

gabe s's picture

Souzas images are in no way snapshots.

Scott Harris's picture

"'You have more golf photos of me than [anything else]"

Maybe there's a reason for that?