‘ He’s not just a monotonous party sitting in a chair, he loves to show off ‘: photographing Donald Trump

Harry Benson and his camera on Donald Trumps private jet in 1987

I have been taking photographs of Donald Trump since the early 1980 s. Hes very good for our business, because you always get something out of it. Hes not just a dreary being sitting in a chair; he moves around. Youll be talking about boxing and hell start playing it out, as he did on top of Trump Tower, doing those preposterous shadow-boxing poses. He adores to show off, and we photographers take advantage.

In this visualize, were on our route to his casino in Atlantic City, from his private heliport in New York. As far as I can remember, it was an work for Vanity Fair. It was taken a number of my helper, Jonathan Delano, using my camera.

A few years later, I took my favourite photo of him at the casino, deeming$ 1m in cash, after Id asked him what a million dollars looks like. It indicates his desire no serious gentleman would do that. I push people as far as I can, and Trump has never once said, I dont want to do that. In detail, you get the feeling you could go further.

I hit him and Melania at home in 2014, and she has her legs wrapped around him. Its just so way out there I represent, shes the future first lady. Can you dream Pat Nixon or Mamie Eisenhower doing that? I said, Melania, why dont you get on that table? and she did. Its not done with any slyness.

He hasnt changed a little bit in 40 times. He still wears suits that are too big for him, and a hog-tie with a close-fisted bow, the practice the Kray twins did. And hes still vindictive and spiteful, and furious if hes not taken seriously.

Ive photographed every US president since Eisenhower. Nixon was the most enjoyable to work with; he was formal and hard to reach, but when you got something, “youve been” got something. Reagan was fabulous fun. I shot him out on his ranch, and he always fetched glass for us himself.

Im a Democrat, but you get better scenes with Republicans they have more sorts. I did OK with Bill Clinton, but he had a tough gang around him; and I felt Obama coldnes and jumpy. I dont find it hard working with people I disagree with politically; Im not there to editorialise or flatter or debunk. Its exactly a activity; Im not backing anybody.

The last period I photographed Trump was last July, with three of his children and Ivankas baby son. Trump was comprising the child, and was as submissive as a big sheep. Its a charming picture.

Im 87 now, and proud of the fact that Im still cultivating Ill always have my camera handbag packed.

Ive not been asked to photo him at the White House. I dont care if I never photograph him again, but if Im invited, Ill disappear. Id shoot him stretched out on a couch under a painting of George Washington. Id get him to take his shoes off, or even his trousers. It could happen. These are strange experiences, and Im not looking forward to them.

I love this photograph, as it substantiates me working and its a little bit of my own biography. Photographs dont lie: there you are.

The documentary Harry Benson: Shoot First is out now and available to stream on Amazon Video and iTunes.

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