Thursday, November 28, 2013

Photographs of Barack Obama as Barry the Freshman in 1980 by Lisa Jack

In 1980, when Obama was known as "Barry", a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he was approached by an aspiring photographer named Lisa Jack, who asked him if he would be willing to pose for some black and white photographs that she could use in her portfolio.


The photographs provide an intimate portrait of the soon-to-be-politician, chain smoking cigarettes, flashing his signature grin, leaning within a narrow frame of a hallow and hiding beneath the brim of a straw hat.

Jack is now a psychologist, she met Obama only a few more times while studying in the college. But in 2005, while on a tour, she spotted Obama on Capitol Hill and yelled hello. "He knew exactly who I was after all this time," she told TIME. "I was amazed."

On a dare from a skeptical friend, Jack decided to track down her negatives from the shoot. Initially, before she dug the film out from her basement, Jack never thought her pictures would have much life beyond her own darkroom.

When she found them, the images of Obama "blew me away," she said. "I had no idea I'd taken a whole roll of film."





















(Photographed by Lisa Jack; Images courtesy of M+B Gallery, via TIME)

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