Exclusive: History-making portraits from the VP debate

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Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay Sr. posing for a portrait backstage at the VP debate. Photo by JL JAVIER

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — A portrait with a politician or a world leader means a shift of power. A person in position yields to the photographer and the camera, vulnerable to its capability to build — or break — through a single image. The master photographer Richard Avedon understood how the process of portrait-making could leave even the mighty unguarded and anxious, as he observed during his sittings with Henry Kissinger. “Isn’t it trivializing and demeaning,” he wrote, “to make someone look wise, noble (which is easy to do), or even conventionally beautiful when the thing itself is so much more complicated, contradictory, and, therefore, fascinating?”

Hours before the flurry of the vice presidential debate, a room in UST’s Quadricentennial Pavilion became not only a brief stop for the vice presidential candidates but also a makeshift studio for their portraits. The resulting photographs by Jake Verzosa offer a rare insight into the personalities of these public figures prior to the face-off onstage and the rolling of the accusations and congratulations into one swell of a political tide.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Sen. Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay Sr. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Former Makati Mayor Jejomar "Junjun" Binay Jr. (left) and Sen. Nancy Binay. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista (left) and KBP National Board Chairman Herman Z. Basbaño. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Taguig City 2nd District Rep. Lino Cayetano. Portraits by JAKE VERZOSA

Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero. Portrait by JAKE VERZOSA