After leaving Fox News, Gretchen Carlson’s resolve remains intact, says TIME’s Peter Hapak, who photographed her for the this week’s cover story. “It was a very calm session. She felt relieved and light and this is what came through the images,” he explains.
Hapak spent an hour with Carlson at the TIME’s New York photo studios. Carlson came in as Hapak was setting up the lights for the shoot. He recalls Carlson being initially cautious yet open and warm, but that guard soon dissipated as his hour with the former Fox News anchor went on. “Before I started the shoot,” he says, “the only directions I gave her was to imagine that [through her] expression and the body position she’s going to form a statement and this statement is going to reflect her present persona and then I let her do her part. I was just following her basically and trying to not intrude into this environment.”
The resulting cover portrait shows a woman who’s no longer remaining silent, says Hapak. “I feel if I’m looking at the images, she’s standing or looking into her personal atmosphere or personal zone. There’s no cameras, there’s no lights. It feels like a private moment where she’s alone with herself and her thoughts.”
Peter Hapak is a contract photographer for TIME.
Bianca Silva is a writer and contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter.