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Power: World Leader’s Portraits

Renowned British photographer Platon has taken portraits of 50 of the most powerful people in the world

Portrait of photographer Platon

Portrait of photographer Platon — Photo by: Norman Jean Roy

Although many of individual photos have very different tones, photographer Platon wanted to convey a sense of collective spirit in his book, POWER. It’s a collection of 50 of the world’s most influential leader’s portraits.

See also: Top 20 celebrity activists of all time.


As a New Yorker Magazine staff photographer, he set up a small studio at a UN assembly, and attempted to photograph as many world leaders as he could get in front of his camera. He was trying to capture so much more than a caricature of how the world sees these political figures. To Platon, taking a portrait is about capturing the real essence of a person. With a healthy irreverence for authority, Platon tried to meet these larger than life leaders on a more personal level and draw out the humanity in them.  
 
He tells many stories of his interactions with these leaders. Including how Vladimir Putin warmed up to a conversation about the Beatles and Qaddafi sat defiantly in a nearby room for his portrait while Barrack Obama gave a speech to the UN general assembly.

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