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Influential Photographs: The Loneliest Job, 1961 by George Tames

A lot of things depend on the president’s shoulders when it comes to national policy. Heads of countries have this kind of heavy responsibility that entails hard work, late nights at the office while under the magnifying scope. Photographer George Tames captured a photo evocative as it is iconic.

John F. Kennedy is a name that only a few people will not recognize. Aside from being one of America’s most charismatic leaders, JFK was known for his controversial life and the fateful event that ultimately cemented his place in the history books – his assassination. But aside from the different stories to the name, JFK was also a subject in the eyes and lens of a Capitol Hill photographer.

George Tames captured this photo that the NY TImes labelled “The Loneliest Job in the World.” The picture depicts President Kennedy leaning heavily on his desk, head down and seeming to be in deep contemplation or reflection. To add to the stark black and gray qualities of the photo, the two windows in the Oval Office frames Kennedy into the center of the photograph, commanding the attention of eye to the focal point of the picture.

Photo by George Tames via NY Times

Being a long time photographer covering the Capitol, Tames was always around the important figures during his time in covering the White House. This particular moment was caught by Tames as Kennedy was reading the daily newspaper. The former president had a bad back and he preferred to read his newspapers standing to lift off the strain of his weight from his back. The contemplative pose of the president was romanticized in the later times of his administration as he faced deep waters during controversies and issues that surrounded him and his leadership.

All information used in this article were sourced from Iconic Photos.

Our intention with the Influential Photographs columns is not to glorify or demean the subject of the photo. Our intention with this column is to highlight the most influential analogue photographs of history. The photographs we feature are considered icons, for their composition, subject matter, or avant-garde artistic value.

written by cheeo

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