GEORGE BUSH SNR (01)A Secret Assignment

When I was first offered this job, the details were scarce.  The only information I had was that the job included taking group photos of up to 150 people and that they only wanted one photographer, not even allowing an assistant to attend.  It would mean working by myself and arranging all the logistics for the shoot, including setting lights and organizing large groups of people.

Intrigued by the secretive nature of the job and having been given no details with regard to the location or time until the actual day of shooting, I accepted the job.  On the day in question, I arrived at Ocean Terminal at sunset, bringing along my passport and ID as requested.  I had no idea where I was going even as I was boarding a cruise ship.  It wasn’t until the ship was leaving Hong Kong that I was told that President George Bush Senior was on board and that he would be the subject of my shoot.

During the time I spent on that job, I never found out the shooting schedule of the day until the morning.  This presented a big challenge to me as a photographer, as I was not only taking photographs of Mr Bush, but also group portraits of large groups of people within a limited timeslot.  With all the planning, lighting and logistics being my responsibility, the job posed a great challenge.  I even had a bodyguard follow me as I worked so that he could restrict the number of photographs I took.  It wasn’t until I finished the job that I was told that the reason for my not being able to bring an assistant was because the cruise had been so expensive and therefore only one photographer was allowed on board.

My greatest memory is when Mr Bush invited me up to take a picture with him, guaranteeing this to be a one-in-a-life-time experience that I will never forget.