8 Notable Photographers Associated With Washington, DC

Obama enters the Oval Office | Photo by Pete Souza/Public Domain
Obama enters the Oval Office | Photo by Pete Souza/Public Domain

They’ve captured important, happy, and somber moments spanning photojournalism, art, social documentary, personal history, activism and so much more. Here are some of the most notable photographers who are associated with Washington, DC.

Cecil Stoughton

Assigned to cover President John F Kennedy full-time, photographer Cecil Stoughton developed a close relationship with the president’s family, allowing him to capture more intimate moments that were outside of official business assignments. Most significantly, Stoughton was present with the motorcade when Kennedy was assassinated, and boarded Air Force One as the only photographer, where he captured the historic moment of Johnson being sworn in as President.

Cecil Stoughton's iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office as President following the assassination John F. Kennedy.

Robert McNeely

No stranger to political photography, Robert McNeely’s career included photographing Walter Mondale, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. He served as the Chief White House photographer under Bill Clinton, continuing with the President after following him on the campaign trail. McNeely’s work included photos of Clinton with intern Monica Lewinsky, which were subpoenaed during Clinton’s impeachment proceedings.

President Bill Clinton expresses displeasure to his adviser George Stephanopoulos. | Robert McNeely/White House Photo Office

David Hume Kennerly

Kennerly was initially part of President Nixon’s traveling press pool, but then transferred to Saigon during the Vietnam War. He returned to the US amidst the Watergate crisis, photographed the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, and the selection of Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford as Agnew’s replacement.

He also captured the photograph of Ford that made it on the cover of TIME magazine and later became Ford’s official photographer, capturing many historical moments. One of his biggest achievements as Presidential photographer was arranging access to the President for exclusives on photographs. Kennerly left the White House the same day and time as President Ford, and his two line letter of resignation became iconic: “Effective January 20, 1977, at twelve noon, I hereby resign my position at the White House. It’s been real!”

President Ford | By David Hume Kennerly

Eric Draper

George W Bush’s photographer, Eric Draper made the switch from film to digital photography for the official records. Prior to joining the White House, Draper also shot the 2000 Olympics, the 1996 and 2000 Presidential election campaigns, and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. His 2013 book Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush, presents a behind-the-scenes view of the Bush presidency including significant moments such as the crisis of September 11, 2o01.

At left, Tom Johnson, Chairman Emeritus of the LBJ Foundation, shows the Austin skyline to former President George W. Bush | Photo by Eric Draper/Public Domain

Colin Winterbottom

A DC photographer through and through, Colin Winterbottom was born and raised in the DC area. His probing photographs of DC’s most familiar landmarks and landscapes capture them from a unique perspective, creating a distinct mood and feeling of being present at the location. Beautiful compositions, dramatic atmospheres, and compelling photographs have made him one of the most recognized DC photographers of our times.

Washington, DC | © Colin Winterbottom Photography

Stephen Crowley

A staff photographer for The New York Times‘ Washington bureau, Stephen Crowley has captured moments in the midst of breaking national and international news. He has been known to capture Washington politics for all its show and artifice, both good and bad. In 2005, American Photo Magazine included Crowley on its list of the 100 Most Important People in Photography. His personal work has also been exhibited in shows at the Library of Congress and The National Geographic Society.

"Jesus and the Tourists" | © The New York Times/Photo by Stephen Crowley

Pete Souza

Most recently known for being the official photographer to President Obama, Pete Souza was also White House photographer for President Ronald Reagan. During 2998 -2007, he was The Chicago Tribune‘s Washington, DC bureau photographer, following the rise of then Senator Obama to the presidency.

His candid photographs of the Obama presidency and the family have been extremely popular, landing him over a million followers on Instagram. Souza’s photograph taken in the Situation Room during the raid on Osama bin Laden, featuring Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others, quickly became an iconic image.

Obama and Biden await updates on Bin Laden | Photo by Pete Souza/Public Domain

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