In one of her first-ever interviews, official White House photographer Shealah Craighead says she sees her role as to be a neutral observer, instead of shape the public perception of the president.
From the start of the presidency of Donald Trump, it’s been photos not snapped by the official White House photographer that have gotten the most attention. There were the press images that confirmed his inauguration crowd size was smaller than the first Obama inauguration, that showed the president’s tie held in place with Scotch tape, and that revealed a stone-faced Pope Francis in his meeting with Trump at the Vatican. As the weeks passed, media reports began to suggest that Trump was actually avoiding Shealah Craighead, his new photographer, as many pictures posted to social media by the White House were taken by other members of staff. And after day 50 of the presidency, when Craighead released her first real set of photos, photography websites declared her a rigid, boring photographer, unable or willing to take candid or unguarded photos of the president.
The Obama White House provided thousands of images to the public via Flickr, but so far the Trump administration hasn't uploaded any. Will they?
A week after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, the White House announced the appointment of Shealah Craighead as Souza’s successor. The Obama Flickr feed was promptly moved to a new location to make room for the Trump administration, but two months later, not a single image has been uploaded. Not even the cover image has been changed from the default.