Obama

photo by Nigel Parry
photo by Nigel Parry

My most famous client is President Barack Obama. During the presidential campaign, I had the opportunity to be assigned to his grooming for The New York Times Magazine and the cover of Newsweek.  Check them out at www.newsweek.com and www.newyorktimes.com .

When he entered the conference room for the The New York Times Magazine photo shoot, he was quick  to reach out and shake hands to introduce himself to me. “Hello, I’m Barack Obama.”, he said. Impressive, I thought. Even though I had met him earlier in the year, when I did his makeup for Newsweek, this time he was sure to make clear that he was on the offensiveAll of the candidates that I did makeup for during their respective campaigns shook my hand, including John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards. Obama, however, was the first and only to introduce himself. It was a small gesture, but a lasting impression was made.

In The New York Times Magazine photograph, the President sat alone at a conference table on the 5th floor of an office building overlooking Washington, D.C.. On this occasion of meeting with his Foreign Policy Group, Obama’s gaze and posture was confident and he had a air of authority about him as if surveying his land and country. I thought to myself, at the time, he sure looks Presidential. Now that I reflect on the photo shoot, the second photo in the article has even more symbolism. The photo was taken with his Foreign Policy Group. Obama is at the head of the table, where there is seated several key members of his team. The photographer, Christian Witkin, captured many reflections of Obama’s broad reaching hands. One image of his hands reflects from the sunlight coming in through the office window off the glass table, one set of hands is a shadow on the wall and then there are his own hands.  Are these the hands of change that can influence our nation, the world and us as he proclaims? Time will tell. History will be written. To be continued…

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