Internet smitten by Newtown photographer’s Inauguration Day photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders

Photojournalist Brendan Smialowski says he was looking for key political players to photograph that day, but he never had the intention of capturing a viral photo.

News 12 Staff

Jan 31, 2021, 9:22 PM

Updated 1,240 days ago

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A photographer who grew up in southwestern Connecticut is behind the photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders on Inauguration Day that became viral.
Photojournalist Brendan Smialowski says he was looking for key political players to photograph that day, but he never had the intention of capturing a viral photo.
"It's a nice moment, I can see why people like it, it's a very natural moment," he says.
The photo of Sanders has inspired memes across social media and even the creation of dolls in his likeness.
Smialowski has captured historic moments throughout his career, including several inaugurations and the Olympics. He says the path to his career all started in Newtown.
"The very beginning of it was at the Newtown Bee, I would trade in some film for some blank new film and then it turned in to a real career," he says. "The folks at the Danbury News Times were very good to me. They found me kind of wandering around a football field and offered to bring me in to their world."
Smialowski now works for Getty Images. His advice for any young Newtown native that wants to follow in his footsteps is to get out there and start practicing.
"You can read books, but the best way to learn for me is to take pictures," he says.
Smialowski currently lives in Washington D.C. He says he can't pick out one favorite moment or image so far in his career, but he loves what he gets to do every day.


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