JOHN F. KENNEDY always made good use of photojournalists. On the campaign trail, he was pictured with delegates, taking counsel from his brother, Robert, or carrying his young daughter and her rag doll. As president, he created the position of official White House staff photographer, and appointed Cecil Stoughton to capture, when requested, his public and family life. Lyndon Johnson also added Yoichi “Oke” Okamoto, a personal photographer, to his staff.
Over the course of his 34-month tenure, Stoughton took around 12,000 pictures of the Kennedy administration. “Camelot” was documented in a way the public had never seen before, and the pictures were a statement of openness, granting everyone privileged behind-the-scenes access to their president. Stoughton’s final assignment in that capacity was to photograph the shell-shocked huddle on Air Force One as Johnson was sworn in.
When Okamoto accompanied his boss into the Oval Office, he suggested that the role of presidential photographer could usefully be…Continue reading
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