Senior Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque explained on Friday the story behind his viral image of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that led to the “Texts with Hillary” meme.
“I actually had a teenager come up to me and say, ‘Hey you’re famous, you’re a meme.’ And I said, ‘Can you tell me what that means?'” Lemarque said during a Facebook Live interview.
In 2011, Lemarque, the only photographer on a C-17 transport plane from Malta to Tripoli, took the following photo of Clinton on her phone.
According to Lemarque, since Clinton was travelling on a C-17 and not her usual plane, he had an opportunity to photograph her in the main cabin.
“I thought it would be a different kind of image, but it wasn’t the story of the day. We were landing in Libya and that was the news and that was the story and those were gonna be the pictures.”
When asked about her sunglasses, Lemarque explained, “It was very early in the morning, and it’s kinda nasty fluorescent lights on these planes. And I tell ya, if I had a pair of sunglasses, I’d be wearing them too.”
When asked if he was aware that his shot launched an investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her time as Secretary of State, Lemarque responded, “It caught me off guard.”
“I was always wondering this email story, where did it start? I had no idea that the photograph was the trigger in this person’s head they said, ‘Hey, there she is with a BlackBerry. I can’t recall this email account,” Lemarque said.
“You just never know down the road where these pictures are going to end up and who is going to have a use for it in either a news way or meme or something fun.”
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