Two months after her husband’s inauguration as America’s 45th President, Melania Trump unveiled, on April 3, her first official portrait as First Lady. “I am honored to serve in the role of First Lady, and look forward to working on behalf of the American people over the coming years,” she said in a press statement released with the new photograph.
Shot in the White House’s residence, the portrait shows Melania Trump with her arms crossed, looking straight on at the camera, with slight smile on her face. It is the result of a team effort between three Belgian photographers – Regine Mahaux, whose name is attached to the portrait, her brother, Benoit Mahaux, and Wim Van De Genachte. All three have worked with the Trumps in the last few years.
“It was a job for Melania herself,” Van De Genachte tells TIME. From January 19 to 21, the three photographers shadowed the Trump family in their pre- and post-inauguration lives. “It was a great assignment,” says Benoit Mahaux. “During these three days, I shot around 7,000 photos. We were lucky to be with them all day long.”
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The three photographers divided tasks during the inauguration, photographing from different spots. “We’re a good team together,” says Van De Genachte. “We inspire each other. Our work is efficient and that’s why, I think, Melania likes about us.”
There’s still uncertainty about who of Regine or Benoit pressed the shutter for Melania Trump’s official portrait – the credit went to Regine, while metadata points to her brother. “We were working as a team,” says Van De Genachte. “It’s the result of all of our work,” adds Mahaux.
That work, both Mahaux and Van De Genachte are quick to point out, shouldn’t be seen as political. “It’s not propaganda,” says Mahaux. “On a shoot like this, I have no political affiliations.”
Regine Mahaux did not return TIME’s requests for comment.
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