You know those iconic portraits of presidents, like John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan, that hang in public schools or in the living rooms of old people? This isn’t one of them.
A photograph of Donald Trump shrugging and grimacing at a rally in Dallas in September 2015 turned out to be the most downloaded image of the presidential election on Getty Images. The Seattle-based media agency called it “a feat nothing short of huge.”
Getty Images photographer Tom Pennington said in a story on the company’s website that he shot the image when he had no idea Trump would turn into a top contender.
“At this point Donald Trump was more of a novelty; people didn’t take him seriously,” Pennington said. “No one thought he would gain the momentum he did.”
Indeed, the image bears a rather striking resemblance to the “shrug” emoji, like so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … which is popularly used to convey “a lack of knowledge about a particular topic, or a lack of care about the result of a situation.”
Getty didn’t share exactly how many downloads the image registered over the course of the campaign season, but said the photo was downloaded 177 times more than the average number of downloads from election images. And Getty noted that among the thousands of images taken of the eventual president elect, it “trumped the rest” and had “many more downloads than there are electoral votes.”
Pennington, who primarily shoots sports events now, said he captured Trump with a telephoto lens from about 30 yards away at American Airlines Center.
“He did this long, parade-like entrance up the elevated riser,” Pennington told Getty. “I photographed him coming out, waving to everyone, and then moved around to a head-on position so I could focus on his gestures and his hair.”