Shealah Craighead

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Shealah Craighead
Shealah Craighead with George W. Bush.jpg
Craighead with George W. Bush in 2009, at the inauguration of Barack Obama
Chief Official White House Photographer
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byPete Souza
Personal details
Born (1976-05-04) May 4, 1976 (age 42)
Connecticut, U.S.

Shealah Craighead (born May 4, 1976) is an American government photographer currently serving as the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Donald Trump. Craighead previously served official photographer to former First Lady Laura Bush in the administration of George W. Bush.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Craighead was born in Connecticut where her parents owned a photo lab. As she grew up she "had always wanted to do something that involved traveling the world and living in hotels. And that involved photography." She wanted to work in Washington, D.C., where she ended up living.[2]


Craighead photographing Marine One in 2017

She attended college, doing freelance photography work with the Boston Globe, Associated Press, and Getty Images afterwards. In 2005, she worked under David Bohrer, who was the official photographer for Vice President Dick Cheney. She photographed "weddings, sports, events, news, portraits," and spot news.[2] She uses a stool while taking photos as she is only 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 m) tall.[2]

When another photographer decided to not return from maternity leave, Craighead applied for their job and became the official photographer to First Lady Laura Bush in the administration of George W. Bush.[2][3] In 2008, she was campaign photographer for Sarah Palin,[4][5] and then for Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and later for Florida Senator Marco Rubio through his Senate career and presidential campaign.[2]

In 2017, Craighead was named as the official White House photographer for the presidency of Donald Trump.[6][7] The Trump administration employs a total of four photographers with different specialties including fashion, military, and administration.[2]


  1. ^ Jacobs, Sarah (August 8, 2017). "Trump's Official White House Photographer reveals how she gained his trust". AOL. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Flock, Elizabeth (August 7, 2017). "What it's like to be President Trump's White House photographer". PBS (Newshour Productions). Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Stelter, Brian. "Trump team closing in on White House photographer who worked with Bushes". Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  4. ^ Newsweek. Newsweek, Incorporated. 2008.
  5. ^ Scott Conroy; Shushannah Walshe (November 2010). Sarah from Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar. PublicAffairs. pp. 218–. ISBN 1-58648-904-6.
  6. ^ Laurent, Olivia. "Meet President Trump's Official White House Photographer". Time. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  7. ^ Sekkai, Kahina. "Shealah Craighead, la photographe officielle de Donald Trump". Paris Match. Retrieved 27 January 2017.