New Photo Shows How Michelle Enjoyed That Victory Hug

Behold
The Photo Blog
Nov. 16 2012 10:16 AM

The Other Side of That Victory Hug: A New Photo Shows How Michelle Liked It

Michelle and Barack Obama hugging

Photograph by David Burnett/Contact Press Images

When Barack Obama won re-election, his campaign tweeted out a photo of him and Michelle hugging, along with the phrase “Four more years.” The image quickly went viral, breaking records on Twitter and Facebook, and last week Behold spoke to campaign photographer Scout Tufankjian about how she got that shot.

Julia Turner Julia Turner

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.

Tufankjian wasn’t the only one shooting at that August rally in Iowa. Photographer David Burnett was there too, shooting for People, and when the now-famous hug took place, he was standing on the far edge of the stage, opposite where Tufankjian was located. He snapped a photo that shows us the other side of the first couple’s embrace. (Luckily, Michelle looks just as happy as her husband to be seeing her spouse for the first time in a few days.)

Burnett said by email that he was surprised when he first saw Tufankjian’s victory photo, because “it didn’t seem, on first blush, to have been shot in November. Then I read the fine print, and saw it was indeed shot in Iowa in August. The light went on in my head, and I looked through my files, finding what I think is the exact moment, from the other side of the podium.”

Advertisement

Burnett notes the serendipity of his shot: “Most often there are situations where photographers are standing almost next to each other, and one gets the picture, and the others don't. And even in places where there is a limit to how much running around you can do to find the best angle, there will be places, moments where ‘the picture’ happens and no one at the time is aware of it. … You need that combination of vision, reaction, and intuition to anticipate what might happen and how it will look. Therein lies both the joy and the sorrow.”

“One other note on this picture,” Burnett adds. “There were something like 10,000 people present at the rally, but it seems there is always the possibility of a picture which, while taken in the middle of a small town, looks as quiet and removed as if it were alone in the desert. That's the magic of photography, finding those telling moments amid the tumult.”

See both sides of the embrace side-by-side:

121116_hugFromBothSides

Scout Tufankjian/Obama for America. David Burnett/Contact Press.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.