Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Here’s the story of the portrait behind Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s postage stamp

October 4, 2023


The photograph was taken in 2017

On the day of the photo shoot, Ginsburg, who was then 84, hosted Bermingham and his daughter in her office at the Supreme Court, where a shelf of books sat on her desk. Other books stood at the ready on carts nearby.

Bermingham had long anticipated the session, but in the early going of the shoot, things didn’t seem to be working out. Finally, he decided the angles were all wrong — and the 6’4″ photographer realized he should get on the ground, to let his lens peer up at Ginsburg, who stood around 5 feet tall.

“So I got down on the floor and I got her to lean over me,” he said. “So I’m looking right up at her” — and Ginsburg’s eyes connected with the camera in a way they hadn’t in the rest of the session.

“It’s like you feel a presence in the photograph,” Bermingham said.

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