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Wojciech Grzedzinski

The project of organization Head of State’s professional Department of Visual Services and the conception of First Couple’s presentation


Wojciech Grzedzinski

The project of organization Head of State’s professional Department of Visual Services and the conception of First Couple’s presentation


INTRODUCTION Civilization we are living is called ‘’pictorial civilization” in which the picture both moving or motionless is main carrier of information, moreover computers and Internet are the main ways of dissemination.The society has got used to breaking down one’s privacy borders through extremely popular programs like reality shows, cameras present all around, full access to secrets of pop stars’ and celebrities’ private life, which is poorly guarded on purpose. For last years the process has been definitely growing in strength, having influenced the way of world perception. The broader access to many places which were closed before, have caused radical changes in the voter’s expectations, who have been less interested in President’s image similar to the years of systemic transformation dating end of the last century. Maintaining present Head of State’s documenting work system combined with polished reports on media results in unnatural, over idealized, impractical but first of all dishumanized President’s image for average citizen. The President’s work in a formal office’s service is reduced to shaking hands, cutting bands or awarding medals. The image depicts only small part of reality and simplifies President’s role negatively influencing his image. The change we suggest doesn’t aim at depriving the President and his wife of privacy or jeopardize the Presidency. The essence of the change is to get through the superficiality of the official ceremonies and to show the citizens that what is published on the newspaper pages is only a part of President’s work. Behind the official protocol’s part there is always a man who is working very intensively for Poland, who undergoes different emotions like other people. With all respect for the Office we want to present a man –the President, who on one hand is working for the country, who is enjoying the success, but on the other hand experiencing difficult moments of sadness and tiredness. Presented approach to illustrating President’s Office adds to current changes in ordinary people’s expectations resulted from technical and civilization progress. Suggested changes will enrich the offer addressed to media, bring closer the President and his Wife , in the same time keeping control over the official image of Head of State and status of his Office. Our concept will allow to show the President being elected democratically ‘’Primus Inter Pares” not a famous for official reports resident of Palace at Trakt Królewski out of touch with reality and citiziens.


AIMS The aim of the project is to create the Department of the President of the Republic of Poland and First Lady professional visual documentation to the needs of President Chancellery Press Agency. The task of the visual documentation Department is to work on presenting the image of President and his Wife through the change in the way of documenting his work and presenting him on television. The Department should extend documentation materials and enrich technical means of expression. The newly created Department should come away from documenting events with President’s participation in very formal way in favour of presenting semiofficial situations such as: preparation for official speeches, during working sessions, with co-workers and members of his Cabinet, studying documents etc. Supplement of the current form President’s representation with informal situations at work, in hurry, an enormous amount of duties known to average citizens from their own experience will bring closer the Head of State in person and will make his perception warmer and more ‘’human”, but at the same time the dignity will be maintained. Thus the President of the Republic of Poland according to the idea of democratic state will be perceived as ‘’The First Citizen of the Republic of Poland” not ‘’Overcitizen”. This method of documenting based on authentic situations and emotions will enable the Department to present and emphasize in selected photographs the most positive the Head’s of State image features . The concept mentioned below is based on our own many years of experience resulting from the service of official ceremonies in Poland and abroad with the President’s participation, but also from verified method of presenting the Head of State which exists in the White House (White House Photo Office), where due to high quality reporting and documentary photography, exceptional photographers’ sensitivity and wide access to President, all the objectives have been implemented .


CONCEPT OF DOCUMENTING AND PRESENTING OF THE FIRST COUPLE The intention in changing the First Couple method of presenting isn’t the change in President’s and his Wife’s behaviour but the change in photographic approach to the image of the Head of State. At present only photos documenting formal celebrations with the First Couple attendance are available on the website at: They express the subject in exceptionally official and exaggeratedly correct way with technical damages. The view which is passed on by official service of the President’s Palace pictures the Head of State work as only participation in awarding medals, official or business visits. Apart from making speeches and shaking hands one does not know what the President’s work lies in. Moreover in all above situations the President is portrayed in one ,formal way, as isolated, cut from his electorate by co-workers and his security guards. The President is photographed in a sharp, flash light which only adds to the impression of affectation and lack of authenticity. In the photos there are not visible any emotions or his hard work. Our task is a flexible approach to the topic of photography which will not only enrich and warm up the President’s image but also will allow to create modern and interesting photo service coming up to the President by ordinary people and will permit the media to use official photo service. The intention of personal photographers actions is to create a few years’ reportage describing all of the presidency’s aspects. That is why the reform in method of presenting the President should be carried out. The personal photographer should have the opportunity of permanent presence in the President’s surroundings (if it is possible) to be able to continuous documentation of The First Citizen work (i.e during travelling by plane). The suggestions below aim at breaking the spell of President’s image from exceptionally official to warmer for recipients group and making visual offer of President’s Chancellery more attractive. On the examples taken from the official White House Press Service and our own photos taken during the documenting President’s and Prime Ministers’ of Republic of Poland work, below, we will try to explain our concept of the First Couple presenting.


Piotr Molecki

Departure from photographing the President in only one official way! It makes an impression that only duty of the President is nothing but handing the medals over or making speeches. The current method of photographing is unattractive and dull.



Piotr Molecki


Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Enriching the official approach to documenting events from President’s calendar with „closer to reality’’ photos which present the same situations in more global way e.g different width of photographic prints with the President’s participation.


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Wojciech Grzedzinski


Piotr Molecki

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Picturing the Head of State in ‘’suspicious” pictures which are monitored e.g the President waiting for the beginning of press conference who enters the conference room towards participants of a meeting.



Wojciech Grzedzinski

Presenting the events with participation of the President.


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Wojciech Grzedzinski

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy


Wojciech Grzedzinski

Presenting the backstage of President’s work e.g opportunity of showing the meeting with advisors (the photographer doesn’t have to witness the whole meeting. It is enough to take photos during the first few minutes.)


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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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Piotr Molecki


Presenting the President at work e.g writing, reading documents or thinking something over.


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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


Presenting the Head of State during traveling by parlour car, helicopter or car. 7.

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Presenting the President in a controlled and discussed with the Head of State way in private situations e.g during holidays, resting or relaxing, receiving birthday wishes or birthday cake from his co-workers.


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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


When protocol allows it is essential to make an opportunity to present the Head of State during official ceremonies without entourage in a way he is the most important element not his surrounding. The conditions satisfying criteria of ‘’ clear frame” for photography or film should be met according to specific character of mass media message because the whole photographers’ and cameramen’s visual effort is directed towards the President and First Lady. The persons from immediate surrounding of the President whose role and importance cannot be overestimated from visual point of view, constitute misinforming background for voters who perceive them as entourage with incomprehensible for average citizen competences, separating him from the Nation of whom he represents. Rational management of the area around the President should depict him, in case the protocol and safety rules allow, as the most essential person.


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Piotr Molecki

Piotr Molecki


Wojciech Grzedzinski

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Piotr Molecki


Wojciech Grzedzinski

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


Piotr Molecki

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


Elements in background disturbing the attention

Moreover it should be remembered when preparing the set location, there are not allowed any objects or outsiders from mass media’s point of view.

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Piotr Molecki

The flag sticking out of the head The platform covered with the material reflecting the light.


The bottles of water shutting out the Head of State

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Piotr Molecki

The central position of the microphone blocking the exit’s view


Wojciech Grzedzinski

The same suggestions apply to First Lady because joining photographic operations with humanistic tasks of the President’s Wife will warm up the First Lady image. 10.

Joint appearance of Presidential Couple

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Wojciech Grzedzinski


CHARACTERISTICS AND ORGANIZATION OF VISUAL DOCUMENTATIONDEPARTMENT To reach mentioned above aims The Department should consist of five photographers and two cameramen.The above number of employers will allow the Department to function efficiently and prepare full documentation of formal or semi formal events and punctual provision of services for Press Office (making prints, creating galleries, distributing of visual materials). Each of photographers and cameramen have to show the ability and experience in making photo-reportage/film documentation maintaining at the same time the canons of art, edition, description and photo processing / film editing. They have to be characterized by high propriety, to be able to make quick decisions in stressful situations, to have ability to work independently and to be familiar with finding themselves in formal situations without getting noticed. Absolutely required feature is full loyalty towards the Head of State Office. Department’s task is to prepare ready made photo and film materials presenting the First Couple. It is fully and exclusively responsible not only for production, edition and publishing all the materials but also for appropriate selection to present the First Couple with dignity. The Department will not have opportunity of fast and effective service delivery without full independence in edition and publishing photos. Photographic materials from any event must be published on the website and be prepared ready for downloading by media within no longer than two hours after the event is finished. Immediate message, the highest quality and the unique nature of presenting materials will allow the events with the Head of State participation be reported on media in an efficient way. Therefore in future the number of accredited media for an event will be possible to decrease.

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Competencies : Photographic and film documentation of the events with the First Couple participation

Edition, postproduction of photo and film

Creating and publishing photo galleries on the website

Consultancy on preparation of location during the meetings and official events (arranging the platforms for media, light configuration, distance measurement) Archiving of photo and film materials from the events with the participation of the First Couple Distribution of photo and film materials for media through website

Due to continuous full availability at least one of the photographers Department’s work system is to ensure full service of the events with the participation of the Head of State and the First Lady . Suggested system of duties follows proven in practice other systems of press photo departments. Between hours 7a.m and 11 p.m within working days there is a photographer on duty in the Chancellery (in case the President resides in Warsaw area). Remaining time, in case of lack of planned activities, the emploee is fully avaiable on-call time.


Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


PHOTO GALLERIES ON THE WEBSITE PREZYDENT.PL Visual Documentation Department will be responsible for creating the highest quality photo galleries presenting the work and every day life of the Head of State. The Department will be committed to creating every day one photo gallery consisted of a dozen or so photos from working day of the President (if the event calendar allows). In case of the particular significance events the Department will prepare photo gallery reporting this event. The Department will be liable for selection, edition and postproduction of presented photographs. Meanwhile, once a month, out of the best photos there will be created galleries of the best photo of the month as well as once a year there will come to being the gallery of the best photo of the year. In order to improve the quality of presented photos we suggest to combine photo galleries of the Head of State and First Lady in one coherent service. It will allow to maintain the high quality, which is not appropriate when the number of presented photos is very large. Choosing adequate photos and their proper edition will avoid the boredom with repeated pictures. In our opinion the common photo service will enable to present the First Couple in more consistent way and will better introduce the role of First Lady. Moreover, for bringing closer the image of the Head of State and the First Lady we suggest to distribute completed photo galleries as a part of press materials to the biggest web portals. Additionally we advise to create a bookmark on the website reporting live the President’s speeches. Solutions mentioned above make possible to reduce the number of accredited people who take part in media service of formal ceremonies. It will happen when the Departament reaches high quality and full assumed efficiency.

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Main photo in the Gallery Miniture photos which blow up after the click Further Galleries with short description Further archived galleries


ARCHIVE To Visual Documentation Department we suggest to create system of photo and film materials’ archiving on the base of unified photo IPTC description system. IPTC system enables fast searching of files by means of words written down in file description. As the number of materials increase we suggest to create photo archive with access from Chancellery internal computer network which facilitates access to needed photo and film materials. Total monthly cost of archive operating shouldn’t exceed the purchase cost of one 500 GB (gigabyte) network hard disk( approx.300 pln)

DISTRIBUTION OF PHOTO AND FILM MATERIALS TO PRESS The current materials’ distribution system does not allow on any control of distributing the photo materials. Everybody visiting the website is able to download any high definition digital photography and use it in any purpose not necessarily corresponding to dignified image of the Head of State. We suggest introducing the system of monitored photo materials distribution on the base of logins and passwords for especially created files on the website Declared institutions will obtain idividual login and password which will enable them to download shared files. Institutions commit not to use downloaded materials in a way which may violate good image of the President or Poland. They are also obliged to clear signing the source of the materials and its authors.

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The system will make possible to monitor downloading of high definition digital files as well as their usage what will rise the prestige of the Press Office. Creating the bookmark which will make possible to watch miniatures of photographs and after zooming it, to download the high definition digital file min.20X30 cm 300 dpi Creating similar bookmark which will make possible to download chosen video clips or ready made film materials prepared by President’s Chancellery

Creating monitoring system of downloads from individual logins

EQUIPMENT To implement mentioned tasks Department of Visual Documentation has to be provided with high quality professional photo and film equipment which will make possible to record the highest quality image at low lighting and difficult weather conditions. Every photographer needs at least two zoom lens (covering full range of focal length 24-200 mm with the light maximum 2.8) and two cameras to be able to proper documentation of the even, in case of failure one of them, without worsening the quality or detriment of the Head of State image. Every photographer has to possess laptop with appropriate software to be able to edit, process and send photos. Film equipment in cameramen’s possession (camcorder, laptops with software for fast editing and sending film clips) has to meet similar criteria .


THE PRESS CORPS Improvement of photo and film materials prepared by journalists accredited to Presidential Palace was the foundation for the idea of creating the Press Corps. Taking into consideration the space limit in individual rooms and association of press photographers’ initiative to reduce the number of media reporting particular events we suggest: Appointing two press photographers for each editorial board who will get accreditation to Presidential Palace with assumption that always only one photographer will report individual event. This idea applies to all editorial boards and press agencies The Chancellery will prepare the list of accrediting press journalists declared earlier by editorial boards. The Chancellery is entitled to deny the right to accreditation. An individual accreditation for particular event will be issued by the Chancellery. Due to no vacant places it will suggest photo or film material prepared by Documentation Department. Media which will be denied the right to accreditation will receive from The Chancellery in shortest possible time all the photo or film material meeting technical and essential criteria needed for being published. In our opinion without running efficient photo and film service any attempts of reducing the number of accredited media will meet determined resistance and rightful lack of understanding.

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Mentioned above idea of changing the method of presenting The Polish President’s and the First Lady activities modifies duties of Documentation Department firstly by extending the area of pictured issues, secondly by revision of means of expression and their presentation methods. Implemented changes in Department’s work organization will ensure permanent access of at least one photographer thereby eliminating problems of lack event’s service. The materials obtained by the Department will constitute complex reportage from the President’s term of office.The pressure on authenticity of embedded images and adding to the offer informal aspects of the President work documentation will bring the President’s person closer to citizens and show him in multidimensional light adding to better understanding or enriching the image of the Head of State. The materials provided by the Department will make an attractive alternative for printed or electronic media editors. Moreover, modified system of downloading images will ensure monitoring of materials distribution and the President’s image. Changes in official photo service and modification in photo distribution system will allow to create the President’s Press Corps and to put in order the service of official events by press and television editors. In addition it will reduce the number of editor’s representatives in the same time providing them media services. Big variety of current works carried out by Documentation Department, tailored to media’s needs views on the issue of documentation President’s Office, which is combined with wide availability of Department photographers for the First Couple will extend the possibilities for President’s Chancellery Press Office to present Polish President’s image in global media.


The project of organization Head of State's professional Departament of Visual Services and the conception of First Couple's presentation


The project of organization Head of State's professional Departament of Visual Services and the conception of First Couple's presentation