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EP 60: Iconic Photographer Platon On Human Rights & Photographing World Leaders

Over the years, Iconic photographer Platon has captured every living U.S. President from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama on film, and he’s photographed well over a hundred world leaders including Tony Blair, Ban Ki Moon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Adhmadenijad, Silvio Berlusconi, Mohamar Qaddafi, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin for the 2007 Time Man of Year cover.

His work has been featured on 20 Time Magazine covers as well as GQ, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Wired, Texas Monthly, and the New Yorker Magazine, with whom he won a Peabody Award for his large scale photo essay on Russia’s Civil Society. Platon also started his own non-profit foundation called The People’s Portfolio which “aspires to create a visual language to break barriers and enlist public support human rights around the world.”

On today’s podcast, he’ll reveal some of his secrets to getting the most powerful people in the world to let their guard down, he’ll talk about the most intimidating shoot of his life (Vladimir Putin), and he’ll give the inside scoop on his now infamous cover photo of Bill Clinton for Esquire. Plus he’ll talk about his photographing the Arab Spring protests and his new mission to put a face on human rights sufferers around the world.

If you enjoy this episode, you can view Platon’s work at or on instagram at @platon. You can find out more about the People’s Portfolio at

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at Or go to the website for the show at and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

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