Share

POLITICS

3-Minute Interview: Former White House photographer Eric Draper

By |
Politics,DC,People,Susan Ferrechio,3-Minute Interview

Draper was the official White House photographer for President George W. Bush. He has just published a photography book centered on those days, titled "Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush."

What was it like working in the White House?

It was an amazing job. It is the ultimate job for a photographer in my mind. Nothing else compares to it.

Why is that?

The subject, first of all. Covering the most powerful person in the world, you can't compare that to anything. The scope of history that a president makes is unprecedented. The travel, the importance of creating an historic photographic archive, the importance of the images that I made in those eight years -- you can't compare that to anything.

Can you describe some of the most memorable moments on the job?

Sept. 11, 2001, is the most memorable. That entire day of images, the moment after the president found out about the attack, those stand out in my mind. The intensity of the president reacting to what was going to basically shape his presidency. In that moment, I could not predict how big it would be, but as the hours went by, it became one of the most important time periods of the presidency.

Are there any shots you wish you got?

I'm sure there are many. As a photographer, I try to capture everything, and sometimes you don't know what is going to be important. There are some things that are obvious, but I had to approach every situation like it was going to make history. ... But sometimes, you know, for example, the president met with [the late] Coretta Scott King and two of her children. There is a powerful image of the president praying together with the family, and you can see Mrs. King was holding the plans for the MLK Memorial, which at the time was just a plan and is now finished. Images like that are very important for history.

- Susan Ferrechio

View article comments Leave a comment