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Capturing the Personality Behind the Portrait | Platon Photographs the World’s Most Powerful Leaders

By Jules Ebe on May 3rd 2013

Platon is known for getting some of the most charismatic and notable personalities to drop their guard and open up in front of his camera. He has photographed many of the world’s most powerful leaders — Putin, Obama, Qaddafi, and Ahmadinejad to name a few. His ability to capture the person behind their presence may be why his compelling portraits have been featured on the cover of TIME magazine over 20 times.

“A good picture revolves around a moment. A glance, a breath. Something that peals back the façade and reveals the personality of the subject.”

Platon (born Platon Antoniou) began his career at British Vogue but soon transitioned to the late John Kennedy Jr.’s political magazine, George. The London-born photographer would not stop there. TIME, WIRED, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair are just a few of the international publications that his portraits have appeared in.

But it is not all glitz and glamour. In 2011, Platon was honored with the Peabody Award for his collaboration on the topic of Russia’s Civil Society with The New Yorker magazine and Human Rights Watch.

“Photography is just the technique, it’s the grammar, but it’s never the content.” ~ Platon

So what is his secret to working with some of the most powerful and eccentric personalities in the world? He says that he “doesn’t pay attention to titles. It doesn’t matter if [he is] photographing a president, the leader of the web’s biggest social media site, or a random person on the street.”

Hugo Chavez

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

Mark Zuckerberg


Michelle Obama

Willie Nelson

If you would like to see more of Platon’s work, please check out his recent book Power: Portraits of World Leaders. It is a compendium of some of the most striking portraits of today’s world leaders. You can also view his portfolio on his website, as well as a feature on the most powerful leaders in technology in this month’s WIRED magazine.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

[via WIRED]


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for sharing.

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