WXXI AM News

Connections: The Art And Impact Of Campaign Photography

Oct 13, 2016

Twenty-eight years ago, we witnessed what is often described as the worst campaign photo op in history: democrat Michael Dukakis posed in a helmet, riding an M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. It was supposed to inspire voters to imagine Dukakis as commander in chief. Instead, it led to ridicule, a disastrous backfire. And it was staged!

Our discussion focuses on campaign and political photography. How do photographers capture authenticity in a political realm so filled with stagecraft? What are the rules? What happens when photographers capture a powerful image that nonetheless overstates the gravity or emotion of a moment? Our free-wheeling discussion includes both a multiple Pulitzer Prize winner, and a man honored as one of the "100 Most Important People in Photography." Our guests:

  • William Snyder, four-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and chair of the photojournalism program at the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • David Burnett, photojournalist with more than five decades of work covering politics, war, and more