Meet Dennis Brack, author of Presidential Picture Stories: Behind the Cameras at the White House.
Presidential Picture Stories
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.
Presidential Picture Stories is a fast history of the news picture business and a collection of delightful stories about the characters behind the cameras.
From JFK to today, Dennis Brack has photographed the Presidents of the United States and he hopes to continue this coverage for years to come. Represented by Black Star, the clients have changed through the decades: LIFE, NEWSWEEK, were major clients over these years. Brack averaged a picture a week in TIME for twenty-three years. Dennis Brack has covered ten presidential administrations and does not want to retire. As the Washington photographer for Black Star he is a member of the White House ISP pool consisting of the eight major photo agencies (ie. Getty, Corbus, UPI,SPA, European Press Association, etc.) which travels with the president in Washington.
A major story for Dennis Brack was the coverage of the first Gulf War. In one week Brack’s photographs were on the covers of TIME, NEWSWEEK,U.S.NEWS, PARIS MATCH, and many other magazines throughout the world.
For twenty-five years, Dennis Brack was the secretary/ treasurer of the United States Senate Standing Committee of Press Photographers. This six-member committee determines the photographic coverage of the House and Senate, the conventions, the Inauguration. He was President of the White House News Photographers Association for many years. Last year he was the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and honored at White House News Photographers Association Eyes of History Gala.
Like many TIME Magazine photographers, Dennis Brack has given his photographic collection to The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas. The transparencies and negatives will be preserved to be a source for future historians. The Briscoe Center has sponsored a major exhibition of Dennis Brack’s photographs at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The exhibit will open at the Briscoe Center for American History in Austin, Texas in June 2013.