Pa’i ki’i Imagery

September 15, 2008

Portraiture Gone Wrong

Filed under: Commentary,Photography — paikiiimagery @ 9:59 am
Tags: , , , , ,

On Friday PDN posted an item about the October cover picture of the Atlantic with John McCain.  PDNPulse: How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain. It revealed how Greenberg sneaked additional pictures for the purpose of creating additional images.  Images she could use to present McCain in a negative light.  No matter what your political leanings. I hope you think using your access to a client for one purpose so you can create an image to put the client in a negative light is wrong. Such an action is a breach of trust.

Some commentors are willing to excuse her because she’s an artist.  As if being an artist gives her licensce to behave in an unethical manner.  One commentor related the story of the late Richard Avedon’s portrait of Richard VIII and Wallace Simpson.  Avedon wanted to get past the typical happy face and present the real them.  He told the couple he’d run over a puppy and got a picture of them showing saddness at the story.  The first time I heard how Avedon got the picture it disturbed me.  He used deception to elicit an emotional response and then presented it as something it wasn’t.

Greenberg got a picture for political propaganda reasons not artistic.



  1. What Greenberg did was self-serving, immature, and HURTS THE CAUSE SHE CLAIMS TO SUPPORT.

    The backlash from this childish stunt will do significant damage to the Democratic campaign for President, giving Republican hatemongers yet ANOTHER non-issue that they can use to call their supporters to arms.

    By doing this Greenberg has made herself more famous, and cemented THOUSANDS of new votes for McCain.

    Comment by Mark — September 15, 2008 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t think it’s going to be that significant one way or the other. Most people have other things to do in their lives and don’t follow this like its a fantasy football league. By calling Republicans “hatemongers” you show yourself in as bad a light as Greenberg.

    Comment by paikiiimagery — September 15, 2008 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

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