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A book about Photographers and their Stories. Imagine spending the night in the Oval Office on the night that President Nixon announced his resignation. CBS cameraman George Christian did and it was his first day at the White House. Ron Edmonds, an Associated Press photographer, won the Pulitzer Prize for the photos he made on his first day covering the White House. Shelly A book about Photographers and their Stories. Imagine spending the night in the Oval Office on the night that President Nixon announced his resignation. CBS cameraman George Christian did and it was his first day at the White House. Ron Edmonds, an Associated Press photographer, won the Pulitzer Prize for the photos he made on his first day covering the White House. Shelly Fielman’s first day at NBC was November 22nd, 1963. He was handed a tape recorder and $7,000 in cash and told to get on an American Airlines flight to Dallas, Texas. On his third day working for NBC he was watching Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. More stories are about photographers’ tricks, triumphs, defeats, and of course, war stories. There are stories about the iconic photographs of our day and how the photographers made them. Coating the wet plates of Mathew Brady, blowing up a brand new hotel with flash powder, using pigeons to carry film: these are a few of many stories about how photographers handled the tools of their day. PICTURE STORIES is a fast history of the news picture business and a collection of delightful stories about the characters behind the cameras.


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A book about Photographers and their Stories. Imagine spending the night in the Oval Office on the night that President Nixon announced his resignation. CBS cameraman George Christian did and it was his first day at the White House. Ron Edmonds, an Associated Press photographer, won the Pulitzer Prize for the photos he made on his first day covering the White House. Shelly A book about Photographers and their Stories. Imagine spending the night in the Oval Office on the night that President Nixon announced his resignation. CBS cameraman George Christian did and it was his first day at the White House. Ron Edmonds, an Associated Press photographer, won the Pulitzer Prize for the photos he made on his first day covering the White House. Shelly Fielman’s first day at NBC was November 22nd, 1963. He was handed a tape recorder and $7,000 in cash and told to get on an American Airlines flight to Dallas, Texas. On his third day working for NBC he was watching Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. More stories are about photographers’ tricks, triumphs, defeats, and of course, war stories. There are stories about the iconic photographs of our day and how the photographers made them. Coating the wet plates of Mathew Brady, blowing up a brand new hotel with flash powder, using pigeons to carry film: these are a few of many stories about how photographers handled the tools of their day. PICTURE STORIES is a fast history of the news picture business and a collection of delightful stories about the characters behind the cameras.

51 review for Presidential Picture Stories: Behind the Cameras at the White House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rade

    I won this book in a giveaway Besides containing lots of information about quite a few presidents and their lives in the White House, this book also has A LOT of pictures. Some of them are from presidential speeches to the nation, some are from tours presidents in the past had, and a lot of them are behind the door scenes from lives that many presidents led. There is pictures of them playing with various animals that called the White House their home. Some are of presidents golfing, having I won this book in a giveaway Besides containing lots of information about quite a few presidents and their lives in the White House, this book also has A LOT of pictures. Some of them are from presidential speeches to the nation, some are from tours presidents in the past had, and a lot of them are behind the door scenes from lives that many presidents led. There is pictures of them playing with various animals that called the White House their home. Some are of presidents golfing, having birthday celebrations, watching fireworks, and some dramatic pictures of presidents reacting to big news that affects their nation. However, this book has a lot to do with the photographers that took the pictures in the White House. A lot of them took some of the most iconic pictures of our presidents. There is a lot of pictures of them standing around and comparing pictures they took with other photographers. If you want more info about what went on behind the scenes in the White House, than I recommend this book to you, although anybody can enjoy it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sojourner

    Presidential Picture Stories: Behind the Cameras at the White House by Dennis Brack is a book you’d cherish if you are a lover of history and photography. Dennis Brack has done a commendable job in capturing the people behind the lens at the White House throughout the years. One thing that will immediately strike you is the renewed mind with which you view history. Many wordsmiths have painted glorious pictures of the presidents, but these imaginative and creative photographers have captured the Presidential Picture Stories: Behind the Cameras at the White House by Dennis Brack is a book you’d cherish if you are a lover of history and photography. Dennis Brack has done a commendable job in capturing the people behind the lens at the White House throughout the years. One thing that will immediately strike you is the renewed mind with which you view history. Many wordsmiths have painted glorious pictures of the presidents, but these imaginative and creative photographers have captured the presidents in a far more telling portrayal that will be etched in memory for a long, long time to come. And one must never forget the fact that these photographers work under difficult and different circumstances. It is good to get to know the men behind the photographs of the presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. Through the book you’ll get to see some iconic pictures, and the men behind them. Getting to know them makes the still pictures come alive!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

    All, this is another book that I agreed to review for the author. The only compensation I got for an honest review was a copy of the book...because I had to read it to review it. That's how the system works. The first president that had to deal with photographers was Woodrow Wilson. Photographers weren't generally allowed on WH property, making presidential pictures a rare get. This was the case even more after Wilson had a stroke and no one was really quite sure who was running the country, All, this is another book that I agreed to review for the author. The only compensation I got for an honest review was a copy of the book...because I had to read it to review it. That's how the system works. The first president that had to deal with photographers was Woodrow Wilson. Photographers weren't generally allowed on WH property, making presidential pictures a rare get. This was the case even more after Wilson had a stroke and no one was really quite sure who was running the country, since no one had seen him for so long. (This is a whole different interesting presidential story that is worth a google). 2 photographers tried to get pictures of Wilson by hiding in the wagon load of hay that was brought onto the South Law of the WH for the sheep that grazed there.No luck! Harding was the president to give photographers some access to the WH. He appreciated a good human interest story, and used the camera men to help bring some good light on a somewhat scandalous presidency.Coolidge understood the value of the newsreel and of the photo. He was a good subject to photograph and cooperated with the photographers request. He also loved movies, and thought they were a good way to get current news events in front of the common man.My favorite story about Hoover is that Mrs Hoover didn't like close up pictures of her husband. He wore these collars that stuck up really high and gave him a double chin. What a gal! - When I tell these stories and I say that someone was liked or disliked I mean as a photography subject and as a person you have to interact with, as a human being. It doesn't mean they were liked/disliked due to policy, party, etc etc.- One of my favorite stories is about FDR. He made an agreement with the press (starting when he was campaigning for governor of New York) that there was to be no photos of him looking crippled or helpless, because of his paralysis due to polio. This means no pictures of him: getting in and out of cars, being lifted in or out of anything, none showing crutches or leg braces. As long as the photogs followed these rules he was a pretty willing subject.(Can you imagine trying to make this deal today? Thank goodness there was no TMZ back then). The stories go on. Truman was friendly and appreciative,Ike got a clock dropped on his head by a photographer and the photographer was sure he'd just "brained" the president (he didn't it was ok). The negative for the famous "taken from the back, Kennedy leaning on his desk reading something" picture was safely stocked in the photographers "lost sock" drawer at home.LBJ was a crazy person/sonofabitch. (The more I learn about him the more I can't believe that he was president). One of my favorite stories about a group of WH photographers came from Nixon's trip to India. he photographers were banished to the bed of a farmer's truck which made for a long hot uncomfortable ride.They were so hot and thirsty that when they got to their destination they were desperate for some water. They found a servant carrying a tray of glasses and a bowl of water. The water looked kind of gross but they were desperate and, hey it's India what can you do? They found out later that the water had just been used to rinse out cups for ice cream. Those crazy Americans! Ford was a breath of fresh air after some of his predecessors,Carter was almost universally disliked, Regan and Bush I were almost universally liked,Clinton was distant unless you were from TIME, photogs liked that Bush II didn't ever stay out late and he was punctual,and there was a bit of a rift between Obama and the WH photographers. The stories about the presidents was probably my favorite part of the book, but the photographer biographies were interesting too.The story about Shelley Fielman being sent to cover the Kennedy assassination is pretty entertaining (the assassination wasn't entertaining, his difficulties getting there/with his equipment were). Then the book ends with some camera history and what they do and what makes them important. I thought this book was really interesting, and I'm really glad that I got a chance to review it. If Harding or Wilson could see the kind of access that photographers were given at the WH they would probably lose their minds. The pictures throughout the book are very enjoyable too. A great book if you like: American history, politics, photography, Washington DC, presidential history, and getting the inside scoop on a place people rarely get to see. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    Dennis Brack, a White House photographer himself, gives us a very readable short history of the photographers who have worked the White House beat, from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. We get engaging stories about the photographers, the presidents, their interactions. It was Teddy Roosevelt who first moved the photographers from the street to the first improvised photographers' room in the White House. We see that working space for the photographers and reporters evolving over the decades, Dennis Brack, a White House photographer himself, gives us a very readable short history of the photographers who have worked the White House beat, from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. We get engaging stories about the photographers, the presidents, their interactions. It was Teddy Roosevelt who first moved the photographers from the street to the first improvised photographers' room in the White House. We see that working space for the photographers and reporters evolving over the decades, because of the changing technology, needs, and numbers of the working press. Each of the photographers brought their own personality and backgrounds to the job of photographing the President, his official activities, and his family, and each President brought his own personality and needs to their interactions. Some liked the photographers, some did not. Some were considerate, others not. FDR was a natural for the camera, but also needed to conceal the truth of the crippling effects of polio on his body. Lyndon Johnson was friendly, but also demanding, capricious, and never gave any thought to the effect of long hours and unannounced trips on the photographers who had to cover him. Truman was a friend of the photographers for years, as Senator and Vice President, before he became President. George H. W. Bush was a real friend of many of the reporters; his son, George W. Bush, friendly but more distant. There are many entertaining or moving stories here, the experiences of the photographers, and the important, historic moments that produced iconic pictures. A few of the stories strike truly odd and uncomfortable notes. The most off-putting for me was a story he says may be apocryphal--so why tell it? It's the story of a photographer who covered the White House but also did other features. He visited a certain woman to take pictures of her, in her twelfth floor apartment. She had a "yippy little dog," and while she was out of the room, he threw a ball for the dog--threw it to the balcony, where it rolled off under the balcony railing, followed in close pursuit by the dog. This is apparently supposed to be a funny story. Yet we know that the "yippy little dog," if this story ever happened, would have died from that fall. For the crime of being "yippy." What the heck is wrong with the person who thinks this story is funny? And among all these Presidents, most of whom had dogs, we get only glimpses, for instance one brief mention of one of LBJ's beagles, and the picture of him pulling that dog up by his ears. For the most part, you'd never know the Presidents had dogs, no matter how famous the dogs were. No mention of FDR's Fala, Bush 41's Millie, Bush 43's Barney and Mrs. Beasley, Obama's Bo. How does a book about White House photography not mention these much-photographed dogs? Up through Reagan, the Presidents mostly get a chapter each, but after that, it's much more compact and hitting the highlights of photographing the last twenty years or so of Presidents. This is followed by brief bios of some of the most famous, significant, or interesting of the photographers, and then the history of their tools, the technology of photography. Overall, an interesting read with a few odd, off-putting notes. I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John

    I received this book as a First Reads giveaway. I was a bit weary upon arrival. A letter signed by the author accompanied the book, asking for more reviews, and looking to promote his book. This is normal. However, the letter was full of grammatical errors which triggered several alarms in my brain. THe book itself reads like you are sitting with an uncle or grandfather listening to him tell old war stories. THe flow is just the same. A quick story, and then onto the next. It starts with Woodrow I received this book as a First Reads giveaway. I was a bit weary upon arrival. A letter signed by the author accompanied the book, asking for more reviews, and looking to promote his book. This is normal. However, the letter was full of grammatical errors which triggered several alarms in my brain. THe book itself reads like you are sitting with an uncle or grandfather listening to him tell old war stories. THe flow is just the same. A quick story, and then onto the next. It starts with Woodrow WIlson and continues to the Obama administration. You will learn how each president treated the press and photographers, as well as learn interesting tidbits about each. From the outgoing, like Truman, to the secluded, like Carter. The Kennedy period was by far my favorite. You learn the story behind the famous John Jr. salute photo. That was the first half of the book. The second half of the book highlights the photographers who worked the White House beat, and the equipment they used. From box cameras all the way up to the digital age. Overall, if you are a history nut as I am, you will find this enjoyable. At least the first 151 pages. This was a fast read, full of numerous pictures (each page had at least one picture). I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a what goes on behind the scenes with White House photographers, and anyone that is interested in photography.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Dennis Brack is a White House photographer and a member of the White House ISP pool which travels with the President in Washington. He is a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. The Dennis Brack Photographic Archive spans the last five decades and includes more than 150,000 slides of U.S. presidents, world leaders, wars (notably the first Gulf War), military personnel, and key moments of the civil rights movement and the riots it sparked. Brack also covered Watergate for TIME in 1974. He has Dennis Brack is a White House photographer and a member of the White House ISP pool which travels with the President in Washington. He is a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. The Dennis Brack Photographic Archive spans the last five decades and includes more than 150,000 slides of U.S. presidents, world leaders, wars (notably the first Gulf War), military personnel, and key moments of the civil rights movement and the riots it sparked. Brack also covered Watergate for TIME in 1974. He has covered ten presidential administrations, from JFK to Obama. Brack's photos have appeared in TIME, NEWSWEEK, and LIFE, where Brack averaged a picture a week for twenty-three years. Presidential Picture Stories: Behind the Cameras at the White House delivers a wonderful collection of historical photos from an assortment of White House photographers that includes everyone from Woodrow Wilson to the present. And of course, each picture has a story and Brack does an excellent job telling each of these stories behind the pictures, the presidents, and the photographers themselves.If you love history and photography, don't miss this one. *Received this book free from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan Swiderski

    A great photograph truly is worth a thousand words. For example, who can forget the photos of John-John Kennedy playing under the presidential desk, or saluting his father's casket? Those images, and many many others, are etched into our collective consciousness, and they preserve vital parts of our history. In a way, they're part of us... but what do we really know about those pictures, other than what we see in them? Would you like to know more? Yeah? Then "Presidential Picture Stories" is the A great photograph truly is worth a thousand words. For example, who can forget the photos of John-John Kennedy playing under the presidential desk, or saluting his father's casket? Those images, and many many others, are etched into our collective consciousness, and they preserve vital parts of our history. In a way, they're part of us... but what do we really know about those pictures, other than what we see in them? Would you like to know more? Yeah? Then "Presidential Picture Stories" is the book for you. In this book, long-time White House photojournalist Brack provides background information and captivating anecdotes about the circumstances behind some iconic photos, and about the talented photographers who took them. His inside stories give readers tantalizing glimpses of U.S. Presidents ranging from Wilson through Obama, and describe their relationships (or lack thereof) with the pool of photographers assigned to cover them. This is a quick read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're a history buff, have an interest in photography, or are just plain curious about the men who've served in the Oval Office, you'll enjoy it, too. My only regret is that the book isn't bigger... with enlarged photographs. It would have made a terrific coffee table book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lady

    Okay listen up all you would be historians, camera bugs and just plain curious people. This book takes you on a truly working journal, decade by decade of US presidents and the men who give us insight to them by way of the camera. This book highlights the funny episodes connected with the powerful men who run this nation, along side with the photos hounds that seek to capture that one great moment on film. Well written with laugh out loud moments, this book has it all along with a totally new Okay listen up all you would be historians, camera bugs and just plain curious people. This book takes you on a truly working journal, decade by decade of US presidents and the men who give us insight to them by way of the camera. This book highlights the funny episodes connected with the powerful men who run this nation, along side with the photos hounds that seek to capture that one great moment on film. Well written with laugh out loud moments, this book has it all along with a totally new appreciation of the men who are the White House photographers. Dennis Brack gives us the inside look into our US presidents through the lens of camera in a way that no one has before.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received this book for free through BookLikes giveaways. This book takes you behind the scenes of famous and iconic presidential photos. It is filled with stories about photographers and the men they captured on film. I liked this book. It was interesting to see a different side of our presidents. I only wished there were a little more photos and that they were bigger. Aside from that, it's a great read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Presidential Picture Stories has something for almost everyone. Like Politics? Read about the Presidents with an insiders view. Like photography? Plenty of info about the history of photography. Like history? This book goes in depth into the people who achieved the photographs that are our classics of today. Just like reading a good book? Easy to read with interesting pictures throughout,

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Parrott

    "Presidential Pictures Stories" is just that stories from various adminstrations that tell of photographies history, relation between photographers and the rest of the press pool, practical jokes at home and traveling with the President. The stories and the pictures make this one well worth the read. I received my copy through Goodreads First Reads.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wanda Wright

    I won this book on goodreads and I am happy to recommend this read to students of photography, history buffs or just anyone with an interest in Presidential photography. As I went through this book I felt as If I was right there with the cameraman as enthused as he is. A very good read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynsie

    This was a fun, readable book about White House photographers in history. Lots of funny, sad, interesting stories behind the scenes, written by one of the men involved. Great insights into the lives of the photographers, White House staff, and the presidents themselves.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennelle Henderson

    This book delivers exactly as the subtitle promises. Interesting stories about the people who brought us the most iconic images of United States Presidents over the years.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Elizabeth

    I was picturing something a little different but I really enjoyed the book. Full review to come.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ☯Emily

    I have won this book as part of a Booklikes giveaway. I gave the book a 3 1/2 star rating. The complete review is here: http://emilyg.booklikes.com/post/8575...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Haven Gordon

    I won this from a goodreads giveaway and I absolutely loved it. It's exactly the kind of book I'm interested in!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Pratho

    I really enjoyed this book, a quick look at some of the behind the scenes workings of the white house and those that covered them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

  21. 4 out of 5

    ApuciKislanya

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Lynam

  25. 4 out of 5

    Roy Huff

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maria Konkel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Hood

  29. 5 out of 5

    Edward Haller

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

  31. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

  32. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  33. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  35. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Easton

  37. 5 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  38. 4 out of 5

    Alisa Inman

  39. 5 out of 5

    Traci Hearty

  40. 5 out of 5

    Katie Desadier

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Chan

  42. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  43. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  44. 5 out of 5

    Mrs.

  45. 4 out of 5

    Katie Harder-schauer

  46. 4 out of 5

    Anne Marie

  47. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Zitsch

  48. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  49. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  50. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  51. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

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