I was commissioned in the 90’s to take portraits of Donald Trump at Trump Plaza in New York city. My wife and I set up a portable studio in his conference room. As we patiently waited in walked his assistant who informed us he was running late and in all likelihood would only give us a few minutes at most, as a matter of fact, he had walked out on his last photographer! In a few minutes he appeared and shook our hands, apologized for his tardiness and began emptying the contents of his jacket on the conference table to eliminate bulges. He was very pleasant and knew how to engage with the camera and pose. After more than an hour and 1oo’s of images we completed the session. This was not the Donald Trump we eventually saw on the Apprentice or in the Debates. He called the following week and placed a huge order for his Casino’s and even had a portrait painted from one of the photographs.

I used a Hasselblad ELX with 180mm Zeiss Sonnar lens. In the early nineties we were still using film, therefore, I used Polaroids to check my lighting and composition. I used three lights: one in a chimera softbox, one from behind as a hair light and sometimes a kick light as well and the third light was used on the background. I’ll add some additional images to this blog in the next few days. My wife, Bette, acted as a stylist and an assistant.