Photography: Photographer Schoeller: Not impressed by Trump and Biden

The German photographer Martin Schoeller, who is best known for his close-up photos of stars and has lived in the USA for decades, is worried about the country's future ahead of the US presidential election.

Photography: Photographer Schoeller: Not impressed by Trump and Biden

The German photographer Martin Schoeller, who is best known for his close-up photos of stars and has lived in the USA for decades, is worried about the country's future ahead of the US presidential election. "I can't really think of anything to look forward to in politics right now," Schoeller told the dpa in New York.

Schoeller has already photographed both the Democrat and current US President Joe Biden and the Republican and former President Donald Trump, both of whom want to run again - and neither of them left a particularly good impression on him, says the 55-year-old.

Biden had no interest in Lego

He photographed Biden about ten years ago when he was still vice president. He brought him a half-finished Lego set of the White House and asked him to continue building it for the photo. "That didn't work out so well, unfortunately he didn't take part. And then he really wanted to keep his sunglasses on," said Schoeller. "He didn't impress me."

Trump has photographed Schoeller several times since the late 1990s. “It was always a pose, always this look where he thought he looked good and tough or whatever he wanted to look,” Schoeller said. "There is only one picture of Trump, only one facial expression. Nothing happens, he doesn't change his facial expression, no matter what you say."

Trump didn't find the bald eagle "that funny"

Schoeller, who has lived in New York since the 1990s, brought a live bald eagle - complete with falconer - to another photo shoot in 2015 for "Time" magazine. "It was clear to me that these birds of prey never behave the way you want them to. They're not stuffed animals. I knew then that something would happen if I brought the eagle with me. There's more than just one facial expression." After a short time, the eagle fluttered up and ruffled Trump's hair - which quickly gained worldwide attention in pictures and videos. "I have a feeling I won't photograph Trump again. I don't think he found it that funny."

However, Schoeller says he is very worried about the future of his work and the entire industry. The photo budgets of magazines have shrunk extremely and stars are now simply marketing themselves via social media. Artificial intelligence is also a big challenge for photographers. “I will probably be replaced as a photographer sooner or later,” said Schoeller.

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