October 13, 2013

Looking in on White House Photog Charles Dharapak, the Shutdown Watch and Good Cheer to Getty's Alex Wong

Dharapak shutdown 1 AP

Dharapak shutdown AP 7

Yes, White House photographers do a lot of waiting around. And yes, waiting (or horsing) around scenes, as well as curious anthropomorphic shots of gear, take up their share of space on Charles Dharapak’s Instagram feed.

As the GOP leads the Congress, the White House and the country through a slow motion replay of the last scene of Thelma and Louise, however, these photos become less mundane for just waiting. Instead, photos of the press corps putting in the time, and the shoe gazing for pics and quotes from the DC Shutdown players on a rainy driveway here or a long, lonely hallway there seem to emit their own resonance about the ongoing torture.

Dharapak shutdown 2 AP

Dharapak shutdown 3 AP

Dharapak shut down 5 AP

I doubt Charles was drawing any connections to the shutdown when he made those top two shots. I imagine the immediate attraction of the body language was all he needed to snap, then upload. At the same time, it’s hard for me to look at those two images featuring Getty White House photographer Alex Wong without musing how the Shutdown Futility Show might be encouraging many to see some agony, and even a biblical analogy or two, in almost any political pic out of Washington these days.

(photos: Charles Dharapak/AP via Instagram caption 1: Stakeout for Democrats after their meeting with President Obama on shutdown and debt ceiling. Under the West Wing portico. 0.18 pm 10/10/2013.caption 2:White House reporters stand outside of West Wing waiting for comment from Democratic Senators as they meet with President Obama on government shutdown and debt ceiling. 4.54 pm 10/10/2013. caption 3: Stakeout. Waiting for Democratic lawmakers to speak after meeting with President Obama on government shutdown and debt ceiling. West Wing portico. 11.58 am 10/10/2013. caption 4: Hoping for comment afterwards: Cameras and ladders set up outside of West Wing before President Obama meets with Republican and Democratic Senate and Congressional leadership on government shutdown.1.38 pm 10/2/2013. caption 5: : White House reporters wait in the rain for Republican senators to finish their meeting with President Obama regarding shutdown and debt ceiling. The senators left without making any comment. 0.13 pm 10/11/2013.)

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Michael Shaw
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