British Photographer Tells the Story Behind the Famous Portrait of Putin

British photographer Platon shared the story behind the photoshoot that resulted in one of the most famous photographs of the President of Russia.

Platon, a British photograзher who took the portrait of Vladimir Putin for the cover of Time in 2007, told the story behind this photograph in his interview for the Huffington Post.

“I am led into his office, and I set up my little studio. The doors open, and Putin marches in with two translators, four of five political advisors, and a gang of heavies,” the photographer said.

He said that he first greeted Putin and told him it was a great honor to work with him and then asked: “I am an Englishman. I love The Beatles. Do you?”

At that moment Putin turned to his team of advisors and ordered them out of the room. “Immediately!” he shouted. And after everyone but his bodyguards left, Putin turned to Platon and said in perfect English: “I love The Beatles.”

“That pop art connection allowed me in, — the photographer said. — And that is how I got the truth. And the truth is that the face I photographed is the cold face of power and authority in Russia.”

Platon was later told that Putin liked the pictures, and for some time he even got Christmas cards from the Russian president.

“But the amazing thing for me is that his opposition, they have all claimed this picture as a banner, to show everything that’s wrong with power and authority in Russia. That is the highest honor any photographer could ever have. So… the Christmas cards stopped.”

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