Magazine Cover with Donald Trump

Magazine Cover with Donald Trump

I was commissioned to photograph a press conference where Donald Trump would to inaugurate a golf club bearing his name, the Trump International Golf Club. Booked and in my calendar I didn’t give it another thought. Then the magazine calls a few days before and says they also want me to photograph Donald Trump separately for their magazine cover.

Wow, Now we’re talking another ball game! Now I have to do some research on both Donald Trump but also what kind of cover the customer wanted.

President Donald Trump på tidningsomslag
World Wide Golf Magazine Cover

I googled Donald Trump, I'd seen him in The Apprentice TV series before, and I knew he was an Industrial Mogul in the United States. Have myself passed a few of his, Trump Towers buildings in New York a number of times.

Donald Trump was too long for my background!

I concluded that he was tall! That information helped me to figure out some lighting that might fit, and that I knew early on that my background tripod was too short the one I had then stretched to about 2.5m and if I stand a bit away from it, it won’t be high enough for a person who is 1.90cm tall .... I came to the conclusion that it was best if I hired some photo studio equipment to do the job I wanted and had figured out in my head.

Hired photo studio equipment.

I went to Dubai Hot and Cold Rental helped me figure out what equipment I needed, gave me a crash course on how to use the equipment. I personally think that softboxes can sometimes be a bit difficult to set up at least Profoto's so I went around with folded softboxes in the car it took a lot of space but I drove a big Jeep Grand Cherokee so it went well, had also my white 2.73cm long paper background with so the car was jammed packed for sure!
Picked up my Egyptian photo assistant Sherif, who was visiting Dubai at the moment which was super suitable for me. We got to know each other while I was living in Taba, Egypt a few years earlier, he has his own photo studio in Cairo so is experienced in photography.
Fotoutrustning Profoto blixtar
Here you can see my studio set up. I used two Profoto RFi Strip softboxar and one Octa as the main light

Portable photo studio set up.

We fixed our portable photo studio on site in a room which was not large but we had enough space. Thats how it is most of the time when you are out photographing on location that you do not get much space but you have to make do with the space you have at your disposal.
Everything is in place I have two Profoto RFi Softgrid Strips that I have directed against the background to get even light behind Donald Trump.
I then have a large Profoto Octa softbox aimed at him a little bit from above him.
Bild på porträttfotografen Helen-Shippey
When your photo assistant does not want to stand infront of the camera and you have to do it yourself.

Communication between the light sources.

Now we came to some problematics, these three light sources (Profoto D1) were not pre- programmed on the same channel or if it was group or maybe both were different. It just didn't fire away at the same time and it was of course short of time.
I called a friend who is working with selling Profoto in the Middle East and asked him for help but didn’t really understand what he meant (it's super simple really but not right then when I had to be elsewhere and photograph the press conference which was just about to start) so I simply handed my phone to my Egyptian photo assistant, they could both talk Arabic to each other one of them was from Lebanon the other from Egypt, and fix it all till I got back from the press conference, phew they solved it!

Experience provides skill.

Had the photography shoot taken place today I would have managed it myself, today I own my own Profoto equipment so have experienced most of what can happen which I had not then.
It is one of the neat things about hiring an experienced photographer they have experience with many different situations and have succeeded in solving a lot during their professional time that my new clients are obviously going to benefit from today. Everything goes a little faster with experience.
Porträtt President Donald Trump
Unedited image so you can see how it looked and where I had marked the paper so I could tell him where to stand.

Very comfortable infront of the cameral.

Donald Trump was super easy to photograph! I was a little nervous about how he would go along with my ideas of how I wanted to portray him. I also only had 10 minutes to photograph him.

Create Rapport.

I only had a few seconds to create rapport with my model that this day was Donald Trump, which was easy peasy, you can tell that he he is used to dealing with all sorts of people and got everyone in the room to relax. We were a bunch to say the least, me, my photo assistant, two from the newspaper, Donald Trump, his security guard and some more I don't know why they were there :) In my small portable studio that I had fixed up for us.

It's no problem for me that there are many people in the room it doesn't bother me the least but it can disturb my model but in this case he was so experienced at being photographed so he didn't care either but was super keep and listened to what I wanted him to do and was super good at it. 40 pictures later we were done!

President Donald Trump porträtt

Trump played a little infront of the camera.

Donald Trump had no problem playing a little in front of the camera, it was a golf magazine I photographed for, World Wide Golf magazine so I first gave him a driver (golf club) to hold in a little different ways then I handed him a putter (golf club). It is always easier for a model to act in front of the camera if you give them something to hold onto then they have something to do with their hands and arms they relax much easier then.

President Donald Trump porträtt

Facial Expressions!

Your facial expression says a lot. As a photographer, it is important for me to know what it is I am selling with the image. Because that is what I need to reproduce and mirror in the model I have in front of me. It is up to me as a photographer to get the model in the 'right' mood so that it fits in, in this case for the magazine cover of a golf magazine, or if it’s for a campaign. Sometimes it suits to be happy sometimes attitude etc. It is important that I have as much information as possible from the company I take the picture for so that I take the right picture that fits for them and at that time.

President Donald Trump skakar hand med Mike Gallemore
Donald Trump together with the Magazine owner Mike Gallemore

Idol photography.

Everyone in the magazine obviously wanted their own idol photos with Donald Trump so we squeezed that in too. Above you see the owner of World Wide Golf Magazine, Mike Gallemore he is based in England. (these pictures were taken before Donald Trump became President Donald Trump so I do not know if everyone today is equally proud of these pictures .... I do not put any political valuation personally in what he has done and is doing today. I have just done a photo assignment for a magazine, that’s how I look at it today.)

Donald Trump & Dale Carnegie.

Without asking Mr. Trump himself I'm pretty sure he has read the book How to win friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is based on how he behaved while I met him. He was super polite and used my name, Helen on several occasions while we were conversing. He also talked a lot about how great I was, like how good a photographer I was he talked to my client Mike and told him what a great choice they had made by choosing me as their photographer and that as he put it, Was a keeper! They couldn't let me go because I was so good. (How could he know that now? :))

He obviously wanted to see the pictures before they came out in the magazine so I sent him a selection to his e-mail and he emailed back saying how happy he was with the images. Its always fun to hear appreciation from clients about my images :)

President Donald Trump talar vid talarpodie
Donald Trump during the press conference. Lots of different facial expressions during a speech ;)

Press Conference!

Attending the press conference was the guy who had designed the golf course, Gil Hanse, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump and the owner of Damac Properties Hussain Sajwani. They all talked to the press and some selected people who work at the various golf courses in Dubai.

President Donald Trump inspekterar byggprojekt
Donald Trump and his daughter dotter Ivanka Trump togehter with Damac Properties owner Hussain Sajwani

Good golfer!

Donald Trump is a really good golfer. They had lined up several golf balls in succession that he took and knocked out from the first Tee on the golf course, Trump International Golf Club.

Really impressive to see how easily he swung wearing a suit in the Dubai heat. All his golf shots were good didn’t miss a beat!

President Donald Trump spelar golf

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Företagsfotograf Helen Shippey

About me

My name is Helen and I love to create and happily share what I create with my cameras / drones.

Join me on my photography assignments.

You can call me Shippey, my friends does!


Has; Apprentice Letter in Photography