Platon's Portraits of Power

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, in office since Sept. 12, 2003 i i

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, has been in office since Sept. 12, 2003. The New Yorker hide caption

itoggle caption The New Yorker
Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, in office since Sept. 12, 2003

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, has been in office since Sept. 12, 2003.

The New Yorker

Open up this week's New Yorker magazine and you will be treated to Portraits of Power — a remarkable collection of photographs of the world's leaders — from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to South Africa's Jacob Zuma. There are 49 in all.

What's impressive is all the photos were snapped by the magazine's staff photographer Platon over a five-day period. To get the candid shots, Platon and his assistant created a makeshift studio just off the General Assembly floor at the United Nations in New York and lured the leaders in front of his lens.

The 41-year-old photographer tells NPR's Michele Norris that the real challenge of the gig was to get these media-trained leaders to be candid. "It's worse than going to the dentist for them," he says. Platon says he had to literally take the leaders by their hands and pull them into the studio for the brief photo sessions. The results are impressive.

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