Carter family photographer shares his memories of the former First Family
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Charles Plant of Leesburg has a lot to say about former President Jimmy Carter.
Over the years, as Carter’s unofficial photographer, Plant captured literally thousands and thousands of images of the family in some of their most intimate moments. From weddings to holidays, concerts, and softball games, Plant was there snapping away.
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He started photographing Carter when the politician began campaigning for the White House in the late-70s. The two shared a love of the craft and bonded immediately.
“He’s into photography too,” said Plant. “He asked me about what lenses would be better and what stuff like that.”
Plant thumbs through some negatives and a book he compiled that Carter signed to him “with thanks and best wishes.” He shows off photos of the former commander-in-chief working from his desk in his personal office, with his wife Rosalynn in the garden, and first-daughter Amy Carter’s wedding – all of which were captured through Plants’ lenses.
Plant takes a ho-hum attitude towards his time working with the Carters – to him, he was simply taking pictures of friends.
“He’s a nice guy, a real nice guy,” said Plant. “I mean to me, in my opinion, he’s probably the most honest president we’ve ever had, at least in the last 50 years or more.”
“And he’s always glad to have his picture made with anybody, you know,” he went on.
Like the rest of the nation, Plant found out about Carter’s declining health on Saturday. Someone called him and told him to turn on the T-V.
“I was really sad to see that,” he said. “I mean, how much time does he have? It worries me about that.”
Many of Plant’s images can be found at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Plant admits, he finds it hard to choose a favorite, but a series of portraits he did with the former president and first lady are near the top.
Though the picture sessions have slowed over time, Plant still thinks about the Carters often.
“Makes me wonder sometimes what he would have done if he was president today, you know?” he says. “I think the country would probably be in better shape.”
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