The new Chief Official White House Photographer for the Trump Administration is Shealah Craighead, and while I’m not sure what to think of her photography just yet, I believe her photography may prove influential in the future. Recently, there was a new presidential portrait taken by Craighead which used some questionable lighting and composition choices.
Shealah Craighead took the photo on the left, while a different photographer took Pence’s portrait on the right. Looking closely at the photos reveals the direction of lighting, with low lighting with Trump’s portrait and more direct and above lighting with Pence’s. The picture frame in Trump’s portrait distracts, as well as the deeper depth of field drawing the eye to the wallpaper and wrinkles in the flag. In contrast, Pence’s portrait has fewer distractions and a narrower depth of field. I speculate that Shealah is not responsible for many of the composition choices and has her creative freedom overridden by Trump.
Besides her nascent work as Trump’s chief photographer, Craighead worked as the main photographer for Laura Bush and generally during the Bush administration with Dick Cheney’s Photographer.
Here she is in 2009 with George W. Bush.