'Trying to Show Him as President': Meet Bernie Sanders' Photographer

'Trying to Show Him as President': Meet Bernie Sanders' Photographer

There's no arguing that Bernie Sanders' rise has been one of the most remarkable grassroots campaigns in the history of the U.S. His photographer, Arun Chaudhary, recently gave a fascinating interview on what it's like to photograph Sanders and what he's trying to accomplish in doing so.

Arun Chaudhary has quite the resume. Under President Obama, he was the first official White House videographer, and now, he is the creative director and official photographer for the Bernie Sanders campaign. He recently sat down with TIME Magazine and spoke about his approach. It offers a fascinating look at how creative decisions factor into political influence.

Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Chaudhary shoots in an intentionally raw fashion meant to augment Sanders' image as the people's candidate:

While we’re shooting, we shoot directly into lights to get lens flare; we don’t mind having digital noise if it’s dark. We even put things out that are a little out of focus from time to time. And I think all of this helps differentiate what our work is... Gritty is the new glossy... The most important thing, especially in the beginning of this movement, was to manifest the idea of Bernie Sanders as president in peoples’ minds.

To hear a former White House videographer talk of intentionally creating photos of a presidential candidate that are out of focus and against the prevailing technical grain is fascinating and really illustrates both the thought and uniqueness behind Chaudhary's vision and how intimately it ties into the image of Sanders and his campaign. The entire interview is an incredibly instructive example in connecting the process of creating images with the message we want to send, as well as a great look into the life and work of a top-level political photographer. Check out the full interview here.

Images used with permission of Arun Chaudhary.

[via TIME]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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The comments on this one are going to be extra incendiary.

For perspective, I'd like to hear insight into the other candidates' photography.

Oh boy, OOF photos? The guys over at dpreview are going to have a heart attack :-P
Anyway, glad to see someone other than JJ Abrams using lens flare in a tasteful manner. Well, him and thousands of Facebook/Instagram photographers who sell them as "actions".

All joking aside, being granted the honor (and the responsibility) as the official White House photographer is—in my opinion—one of the highest symbols of photographic accomplishment, putting one in the same pantheon as Ansel Adams & Dorothea Lange, amongst many others. If I were Arun Chaudhary, I can't imagine ever topping that.

..."The train brakes starting screeching at Ansel."

Yeah, but they didn't stop there...

too bad he is gonna only be a couple more weeks employed.

I want a "gritty is the new glossy" t-shirt

Can't quite put my finger on it, but I think I've seen for decades this "gritty is the new glossy" style before. Getting back from going through countless galleries and eulogies for Mohammad Ali will do that to your "vision" and skepticism of the label "new" anything.

Just looked through the pictures in the Time article, the images are kind of depressing.