Photographers' Blog

Texts from Hillary – go figure!

By Kevin Lamarque

On a secretive trip by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Tripoli, only days before the capture and killing of Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, I photographed Clinton aboard a C-17 transport plane. She was wearing dark sunglasses while texting from a makeshift desk she was working from. Okay, nice image I thought, but we were about to land in Tripoli which was certain to yield the images that the world would really want to see. Initially yes. But that was last October.

In the past week, that image of Hillary texting on the plane has gone viral thanks to a tumblr.com blog called “Texts from Hillary” which used my image, along with a similar one from photographer Diana Walker, for a meme which according to the creators of the blog resulted in “a week that included 32 posts, 83,000 shares on Facebook, 8,400 Twitter followers, over 45K Tumblr followers, news stories around the world.”

The blog went so viral, that the creators of the tumblr blog, Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe were invited to the State Department where they met with Secretary Clinton who according to Smith found the site much to her liking. The icing on the cake was having their photo taken with Clinton as they all texted.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Yesterday, Smith and Lambe announced on the blog

As far as memes go – it has gone as far as it can go. Is it really possible to top a submission from the Secretary herself? No. But then when you get to text with her in real life – it’s just over. At least for us. But we have no doubt it will live on with all of you on the Internet. The site will stay up but we won’t be posting anything new here.

A country a day with Hillary Clinton

By Kevin Lamarque

Traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, covering seven countries in seven days (Malta, Libya, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) was sure to present some challenges, but also offer some fresh perspectives. My usual beat, covering Obama at the White House and on his trips abroad, generally involves lots of pushing and shoving with other photographers behind velvet ropes or trying to get a clear photo through layers upon layers of secret service agents. I was welcoming a chance to be free of these constraints in the more low key State Department bubble.

I was the “pool” photographer on this trip, supplying my photos not only to Reuters but to AP and AFP as well. I was hoping that being the only wire photographer on the trip would give me better access and more spontaneous images.

The Secretary of State flies on a smaller plane than the President’s 747; hers being a Boeing  757. It’s similar to the plane we call “baby Air Force One” which the President uses for travels to smaller airfields. I was lucky in the seat lottery and secured a business class seat for the entire week, a huge plus on a trip involving so much flying time.