Alan Greenspan +/- 6 years

Alan Greenspan, for L'Express, September 2007

Alan Greenspan, for L'Express, September 2007

If you're in DC long enough, you tend to circle back and photograph some of the same people. Two weeks ago, I had a quick portrait with former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. The last time I had photographed him was in September 2007. I remember the shoot well, because I had inexplicably been assigned to photograph him the previous day as well for a Brazilian magazine. Both shoots were simply documenting an interview with him but I decided to take a little initiative and see if I could have him sit for me for a quick portrait as well. He obliged and quite willingly played the part of the bemused economist as he stared me down through those thick glasses.

Six years and two months later, I once again eyed him through the viewfinder, getting just a few frames before he went on stage to be interviewed.

Looking at these two images, it's hard for me to unequivocally call one better than the other. The longer I photograph, the more I'm aware of that separation between what I see when I take the picture and the final image. What's in front of me when I photograph feels more like source material for the image rather than the thing I'm attempting to document. But it's how I see this source material that ultimately determines if I'm showing an idea fully and honestly realized. All of which is to say that the second image feels a bit truer to me, more honest, and that might be the only real mark of improvement I'm able to measure.

Alan Greenspan at the Washington Ideas Forum

Alan Greenspan at the Washington Ideas Forum