Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

Behind the Cover: Bill Clinton Photographed by Mark Seliger

Nearly 20 years after he photographed Bill Clinton during his first term in the White House, Mark Seliger reunited with the former president earlier this month to produce this week’s cover of TIME.

Clinton had just come off an electric speech at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, and his energy was palpable during the sitting. “He had a lot of enthusiasm about the big week, and he looked on top of the world,” Seliger said. “You could see it in his personality and his approach to life that he was content and very jovial.”

Seliger with Clinton at the cover shoot.

Seliger with Clinton at the cover shoot.

Fittingly, Clinton makes the case for optimism—and how things are improving around the world—in his cover story. To illustrate that idea, Seliger had Clinton hold a simple and elegant globe as a prop during the sitting. “There are tons of photos where Clinton is smiling—he is naturally a very inspiring and happy person—but I wanted to show a more introspective moment because he is someone who has changed the way we see and do things, and I felt it was my responsibility to connect with him that way,” Seliger said.

The idea of photographs having a backstory and meaning served as the inspiration behind Seliger’s new online video series called Capture, which features photographers talking about their work alongside notable people outside of the industry, such as Clinton and musicians Mick Jagger and Willie Nelson. The latest episode even featured photographer Martin Schoeller talking about his breast-feeding cover shoot for TIME.

Seliger’s own sitting with the former president isn’t a likely contender for Capture, though. “I wish I could say I had a chance to get philosophical with Clinton, but it didn’t happen,” he says. “I had just 15 minutes, and it was all about work.”

Mark Seliger is a photographer based in New York City. See more of his work here.

Pictures of the Week: August 31 – September 7

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From an eruption on the sun and the death of Rev. Fotografia . Sun Myung Moon in South Korea toRedhead Day in the Netherlands and students heading back to school around the world, TIME presents the best images of the week.

Pictures of the Week: February 3 – February 10

From snow storms in Rome and Superbowl XLVI to protests in Egypt and Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.

Behind the Cover: Diana Walker on Photographing Hillary Clinton

Diana Walker spent seven days in just as many countries with Hillary Clinton for this week’s cover story (available to subscribers here). But the cover image itself was taken in about five minutes, with just the light from a window, at Clinton’s desk at the State Department in Washington yesterday morning.

Photograph by Diana Walker for TIME

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 2011.

“She was at work at her desk, and I said, ‘Madame Secretary, look this way,’” says Walker, who has been photographing Clinton since January 1993. “She looked up at me, and then I said, ‘And now out the window.’ And bingo, that was the picture.”

Walker, who worked as TIME’s White House photographer for 20 years under Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, says she prepared for her whirlwind week abroad with the Secretary of State in the same manner she did with former commanders in chief. “It’s not dissimilar,” she says. “You ride in the vans, jump out and run as fast you can to photograph her arriving. Then you line up and you’re herded into a room where the Secretary is meeting with whomever, and you make your pictures and then turn around and run out. And then you go to the next spot.”

In addition to standard press access during the trip, which began in Malta on Oct. 17 and ended in Uzbekistan on Oct. 23, Walker was also given time behind the scenes with Clinton, who she says doesn’t get enough credit for her “terrific” sense of humor—a characteristic she discovered while photographing the then-First Lady for TIME in 1997.

“I got in her limousine, and she was talking to her then chief of staff, laughing and having the best time,” Walker recalls. “That’s the image (below) we led with that year, in part, I think, because the editors were so impressed that it was another Hillary that they hadn’t seen. In public, she was much more straight-laced. In private, she could really kick back. I’m always eager to show that.”

Diana Walker

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton laughing it up with her chief of staff Melanne Verveer as they were returning to White House after delivering a speech at the University of Maryland in 1997.

That convivial atmosphere was around on this recent trip too, where Clinton often jokingly teased Walker for not keeping up. “Here I am lumbering along to catch up, while she has so much energy,” Walker says. “She wears me out! But it’s the most wonderful wearing out. She’s totally focused. But even with that laser focus, she has time to be funny and charming.”

Diana Walker was TIME’s White House photographer for 20 years, where she captured intimate moments with five presidents. You can see more work in her book The Bigger Picture: Thirty Years of Portraits and in our coverage of Steve Jobs

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @Feifei_Sun or on Facebook

MORE: Read TIME managing editor Rick Stengel’s exclusive Q + A with Hillary Clinton.