The 2016 campaign through a photographer’s lens

The NewsHour marks the end of the presidential primary with a look back at some of the 2016 campaign’s iconic photographs and talks with the talented men and women who captured
those images. Among their observations: Hillary Clinton is full of expression and physicality and Donald Trump loves the camera.

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    And finally tonight, we mark the end of the primary season by looking back at some of the iconic photographs from the 2016 campaign so far. And we hear from the talented men and women who capture those images.

  • MELINA MARA, The Washington Post:

    Covering politicians is fascinating, because they're almost like another breed.

    As a political photojournalist, my job isn't only to document their message, but it's also to document the human being.

    My name is Melina Mara. I'm the national political photographer for The Washington Post.

    And I have been on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton for about a year-and-a-half. I think she's very comfortable with who she is as a person. I have a great time photographing her, because she's full of expression, she's full of physicality.

  • CHIP SOMODEVILLA, Getty Images:

    I think just photographing Trump is fascinating. He is such a character. He's very conscious of the camera. He loves the camera, and it comes across in his pictures.

    My name is Chip Somodevilla. And I have been a staff photographer for Getty Images in Washington, D.C., for 11 years. This campaign cycle blended in immediately from the last campaign cycle, so we have been covering this campaign the last four years, more or less.

  • JIM BOURG, Reuters News Pictures:

    In my experience in over 30 years of doing this, there has never been a campaign cycle like this.

    My name is Jim Bourg. I'm the editor in charge of Washington at Reuters News Pictures.

    Going back to when I started in political photography, in presidential campaign photography, it used to be a lot more freewheeling. You used to show up for the events. You used to have a lot more interaction with the candidates, yourself personally.

    This campaign has been dramatically different in this regard. Now the two nominees have staffs and campaigns that are much more aggressive about keeping the press at a distance than we have ever experienced before.

  • MARK PETERSON, MSNBC Photography:

    All these events are orchestrated, and I feel like it's the photographer's job to try and circumvent that.

    My name is Mark Peterson. And for this campaign cycle, I have been doing pictures for MSNBC Photography.

    I started the Political Theater Project in 2013. With this, you know, I converted the stuff to black and white and really accented the flash, and I use that to try and make things have more of a dimension to it and also to highlight the theatrical nature of it.

  • HILARY SWIFT, The New York Times:

    Something that I kind of discovered early on was that the crowds were almost more interesting than the candidates, because the crowds really spoke to who the candidate was.

    My name is Hilary Swift. And I'm a freelance photographer for The New York Times.

    This has been the first campaign and convention I have ever been a part of or worked on. It's been really surprising to me in a lot of ways in getting to see people from all over the country coming together and showing up to support someone, and often also showing up to not support ideas that they don't agree with.


    In 2016, we are needed. A political photojournalist brings something that words can't do, brings the humanity to the coverage. And it really is who this person is. And it really does educate the voter in a way that they can say, who are you? Can I vote for you?


    I don't know what we would do without these photographers. They're amazing.


    Once again, a reminder that still shots sometimes capture more than moving pictures.


    For sure, even though we love TV.

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