Bachmann Was Not Blinded by a Lighting Test

Newsweek defends its photographer against a charge he startled his subject

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In the continuing saga over Newsweek's "Crazy Eyes" cover photo of Michele Bachmann, the magazine is defending its photographer, Chris Buck, against anonymous claims made by a "source" to NBC News that the photographer meddled with the shoot to get the candidate's startled expression. NBC's Jamie Novogrod reported that her source said the photo "came from a lighting test conducted during the photo shoot."

But Newsweek spokesman Andrew Kirk denied that claim, saying Bachmann wasn't even in the frame when photographer Buck prepared lighting for the shoot. "The photo assistant did the light test," Kirk told The Atlantic Wire. Also the frame that appeared on the cover also was not from the beginning of the shoot. As Newsweek tweeted, "Image used on cover was #27 of 33 frames, not a lighting test."

Officially, of course, the Bachmann campaign does not want to appear worked up about the Newsweek cover. When asked about the controversial image in Iowa on Monday just hours after its release, Bachmann said only, "Well, we'll have to take a look at that." And Novogorod's piece reported, "The Michele Bachmann campaign tells NBC News that the candidate is not interested in getting into a conversation over the controversial Newsweek cover photo of its candidate." Novogorod's "source" also said the photo was not among the photos it had said it preferred. But, like most magazines, Newsweek does not offer subjects photo approval.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.