Politics has a different meaning from political. Photography is not politics because as a profession, its essence as a career has nothing to do with activities associated with governance, or in referring to ideologies dividing individuals into parties, organizations or stances.
Yet photography can be political because it captures images that can make a statement, or convey a message, as well as tell a story about a subject and what he, she or they represent. Political photography therefore is similar to wedding photography.
Different Facets of Political Photography
Political photography makes photographic statements that suit the purpose of different persons, bodies or organizations involved in politics.
The Chief Official White House Photographer, for example, handles a team of photographers who covers the daily activities not only of the incumbent president, but also those of the members of his immediate family. However, not all photographs taken during the day are released for publishing. The White House communications department chooses which of the captured images can be best used to illustrate official White House statements offered as press releases.
Another example of political photography involves work commissioned to cover campaign trails of political candidates. To which the objective of course is to take photographs of candidates in ways that will convince voters of his sincerity in fulfilling his campaign promises. Campaign trail photographs also project stories of how well-loved, or at least how well the candidate was received in different regions.
Political Photographer vs. Photojournalist – A photojournalist covering the same campaign trail is not expected to duplicate the same shots taken by the political journalist.
A photojournalist has more leeway on how he or she wants to project the image of the candidate, usually for purposes of conveying neutrality or reality. If a candidate looks pale and feeble, then there is no need to adjust saturation in order to make the candidate look well and lively; or to edit out liver spots that suggest health disorders. A photojournalist may also apply lighting that will give equal emphasis on the candidate and the background, to suggest neutrality of the political statement conveyed by a photo
Still, all those three photographers are into political photography, albeit adhering to different photo-taking principles.
Wedding Photography is Also Political by Nature
Catherine Ross a professional wedding photographer is also a disciple of political photography. Her gallery of wedding photographs at https://catherinejgrossphotography.com exemplify how she uses lighting, angles and saturation in positions idealizing the bridal couple’s relationship. A wedding may be traditional, but it does not necessarily mean producing staple photos that project only the usual betrothal rites and the typical beaming smiles during wedding ceremonies.
To be political in capturing images of the union, a wedding photographer may choose angles that project the couple as a pair of forward-looking individuals all set to face the challenges of marriage. Rather than present them as dreamy-eyed lovers, a political presentation will focus on emphasizing facial projections that suggest strength and solidity of union.
Like Catherine, the current Official White House Photographer Shealah Craighead also started out as a professional wedding photographer. In interviews in which she was asked about her work as the official photographer of a quite controversial president, Ms. Craighead remarked that the challenges are mainly on the hectic schedule and in handling a team of photographers, but not on the job itself.
She also commented that the job offer was an opportunity too valuable to pass up. After all, her main task is to see to the documentation of the history of Donald Trump and that of his first and second families, during his tenure as the 45th president of the United States.