By: David Walker
Draper To White House, Ballard To Cover Cheney
Press photographer Eric Draper has been named the official White
House photographer by President George W. Bush, while Karen
Ballard of Washington Times was hired to serve as Vice
President Dick Cheney’s personal photographer.
Draper covered Bush for AP during the presidential campaign.
Draper has been with AP for eight years. He started out in AP’s
Los Angeles bureau, and quickly established himself as one of the
wire service’s star photographers. From his base in Albuquerque,
Draper has been covering national and international stories for
the last several years.
He recently told the Albuquerque Tribune that he was at
the Christmas Party at the Texas Governor’s mansion in Austin
last year when he asked if he could be Bush’s personal
photographer, “and I left my portfolio. I had a good relationship
with his staff. I knew I had a chance.”
“He’s an outstanding pro. They couldn’t have done any better,”
says David Kennerly, a close friend of Vice President Dick Cheney
and former White House photographer under Gerald Ford. Kennerly
says he advised Cheney on the selection of Ballard, a
Washington Times photographer whose work Kennerly had
noticed. “I knew he needed someone who fit in with his family,
someone who would stay in the background, have a sense of humor,
and place a high value on professionalism,” says Kennerly.
“She’s got a great eye and works very hard,” says Alan Zlotky,
director of photography at the Washington Times. Ballard
had been with the paper about five years, Zlotky says. Ballard
was unavailable for comment. Charles Ommanney, the official
photographer of the Bush campaign, declined to comment.
Photo District News is a sister publication of E&P
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Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.