Editorial Photography Assignment of Alt-Right artist Sabo shot for The Weekly Standard

I was asked by the Weekly Standard to shoot an editorial photographassignment of the Right-Wing artist Sabo (William Sabatini)

They had a tight deadline and I had to deliver the images within 5 hours. Ugh….. Of course I brought my lighting gear but I was doubtful I could do much lighting production given the total time that I had.

Sabo is known as an “alt-right” artist but his views align more with “white-supremacist”, so it gave me pause before accepting the assignment. But I thought,” why not?”. 

I found Sabo interesting, open and helpful during my shoot. In fact, we seemed to get along very well and he was different than most of my corporate photography subjects in that he seemed to be an open book and interested in me. Additionally, rather than pull out my own lights, he offered me the use of his own LED lights with came in handy. The whole experience was surreal, in a way, because his Instagram brand is as a racist and he objects vociferously to anything that does not align with his views on Instagram. You can say that I was and am conflicted.

Nevertheless, he was sociable, warm and completely open about his Alt-Right views. He even believed that the homeless should be housed. 

The editorial photography assignment was fascinating because it was a window into a man who’s “tribe” I only hear about in the news. I even had the impression that he was open to discussion; something that I had little time for, given my deadline. The photography assignment was too shoot and I wished I had more time to talk but the editor loved the images and, in the end, that is what I came to do. I love my magazine photo assignments because they are often so interesting and I never know what to expect or even if I can pull of the assignment in a way that the photo editor will appreciate.

I have been shooting editorial photographs now for almost 30 years and I am seldom disappointed in the work and my subjects. I love the challenge of creating something from nothing on deadline and meeting someone interesting. In that way, my shoot with Sabo did not disappoint.

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