Privacy in Politics

© Christopher Morris

I did not know Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül well before I took his picture. All I knew about him was that he was more outgoing and closer to the public in comparison to previous presidents. I took his and his family’s photos at the Tarabya Villa on the shores of the Bosporus, where he works during the summer rather than at the villa in Ankara. That was an interesting experience for me.

I’ve had the opportunity to photograph the presidents of many different countries. I worked at the White House for seven years. Aside from that, many media outlets from various countries have invited me to work on projects with their own presidents. My job is not only about taking photos of people in solemn suits. It poses many challenges and requires a very different way of working. To me, the fact that the people of I photograph have the power to change the destiny of their countries is very interesting. If you want to make a good photo, you need to spend a long period of time with your subject. I have always avoided taking pictures of people shaking hands. My aim is to come up with a good photo-interview that tells a story. The most challenging issue in my work is that the people I photograph already have a public image, and that makes portraying a world leader very challenging.