Interviewing the American Photographer Who Shot Saddam Hussein, Episode 3

Stefan Zaklin was a staff photojournalist for the European Pressphoto Agency. He covered several historical figures and moments including the war in Iraq, the Saddam Hussein trial, the White House for two presidents, traveled on Air Force One, covered Formula 1, major league baseball, and the NFL.

He’s also earned several awards for his photography including:

3rd Place, General News for the 2004 World Press Photo

First Place, 2002 Magazine Portrait and Personality

The NPPA Best of Photojournalism Award and others

Yet, he is most known for his striking image of a man in Tikrit, Iraq, detained by US soldiers who was kneeling in his yard before being taken away for questioning.


Meanwhile, he is infamous for a 2004 image of a dead soldier, who was shot and killed in Falluja, in a house used as a base by insurgents.

Listen to episode #3 if you’re curious about Stefan’s thoughts on any of the following questions:

  • Tell me about your career in photojournalism. Why did you get into it? Why did you get out? What do you miss most?
  • What was a highlight for you as a photojournalist with incredible access to presidents, athletes and/or a front-row seat to historical moments, etc.?
  • What were you thinking when you took your two most most famous images?
  • What impressed you most about everyday life in Iraq?
  • Tell me about what it was like to cover the Saddam Hussein trials.
  • What’s your take on the images we’ve been seeing coming from Syria/Turkey i.e. the two little boys? 
  • What was it like to be in the White House? What’s your take on how the media is interacting with or not interacting with President Trump?
  • How would you describe what you used to do to your two little girls?
  • How does one go about pitching a career in photography to corporate giants looking for people leaders?
  • What would you say to someone in corporate whose hobby is photography…yet they wish they could make it their full-time work?

In this interview, you’ll also hear how Stefan would answer the following job interview question:

Help me understand how you would address the changes that are wide-spread across media. For ex. we have several content aggregators such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. As a result, it’s getting harder for content producers to monetize content. What’s your thinking on this topic? You’ve been on both sides as a creator and person in charge of the commercialization of products. How should we be thinking about this?

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Guy Nakash

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