Photo ops don’t always go they way they’re supposed to, especially if the photograph is taken in dangerous times. In fact, some of the most famous photographs in history are the product of a re-shoot. Sometimes though, the re-shoot still puts lives at risk.
Most of you who are interested in photography are aware that the image of U.S. Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima is the product of an impromptu or unintentional re-shoot. A smaller flag had already been raised, but U.S. brass coming ashore a short time later asked for a larger, more impressive flag to be flown over the victory. The first flag was raised under fire, the second after the fighting had died down.
Yevgeny Ananyevich Khaldei’s image of the Soviet flag being raised over the Reichstag in 1945 is also cited as a product of a re-shoot. The Soviet flag was initially raised in the evening of April 30, 1945. It was far too dark and the fighting too intense to capture the moment on film. Days later, the image was re-shot after the building and surrounding area were finally pacified. Of note, the smoke was added to make it look like the battle was still ongoing. Khaldei also removed a second wrist band from the supporting solider’s forearm in order to avoid the claim that the Soviet’s would loot from dead German soldiers. If you look closely enough, you can see soldiers milling about on the ground. The photo was staged after fighting in the immediate area had died down.
The importance of these images is hard to ignore. Even with their importance in mind, they still weren’t taken until the fighting had died down.
Returning to the White House with the flourish of a conquering hero, Trump or his staffers decided that his return was worth the risk to both Trump and his staff shooting the images.
After making his way to the balcony and then inside, Trump partially returned to the balcony, surrounded by photographers and camera crews to shoot. Trump is not wearing a mask at this point and is not physically distanced from his staff.
I guess the question here is: will Trump’s images become significant enough to justify the risk the photographers had to take?