Gene Ho has been one of the Myrtle Beach area’s top photographers for more than 20 years.
He admittedly says he’s known for wedding photography and politics is not his thing. That, however, changed about three and a half years ago.
That’s when he was hired to take pictures at a South Carolina Tea Party convention in Myrtle Beach and that’s where he met Donald Trump.Ho took pictures of all the candidates and he sent some copies to Trump in New York.
“I didn’t hear anything for two or three weeks and I kinda forgot about it,” he said. But then he says, “I got a handwritten letter from Trump himself and he said the pictures were great. And from then on, I started doing a lot of stuff for them.”
So much stuff that he became candidate Trump’s main photographer when he came to our region.
“The first time I met him,” Ho said, “I thought this guy was going to be the biggest jerk in the world. But then I met him and he was truly the opposite of what you’d expect. He was nice. He was cordial. He was so nice to me. His TV persona is so brash but when you meet him in person, he’s really nice. Completely wins you over.”
Ho was with the candidate, off and on, all the way up to the night before the election. He was with him on the road and says, from what he heard from ordinary people, he knew Trump would win. He also thought for some time of putting out a book of his photographs and experiences.
“Everyone expected it would be a coffee table book, but then I thought it had to put some text to it,” Ho said at his studio earlier this week in Myrtle Beach. “But then one night I was reading the Bible and I thought, ‘he’s using a playbook from the Bible’. So I wrote the book showing how Trump was like people from Bible on how he ran his campaign. It ended up controversial. Half like it, half don’t, but the book worked.”
The book’s 12 chapters are names from the Bible and Ho then creates a parallel to their roles, to how Donald Trump ran his historic campaign. Ho says that, and the book, “Trump-ography: How Biblical Principles Paved The Way To The American Presidency,” prompted him to lose at least two already-scheduled book signings.
“Certain people look at that and didn’t like the title. But it’s kinda funny. It’s a book at a book store and they’re judging a book by its cover. And I lost some signings. But I don’t care. People will either support it or not support it.”
Ho says he has not received an official review of the book from the President but he says it’s selling well. Better than expected. Much of how his relationship with now-President Trump turned out better than expected. “I get it,” Ho says. “I have a TV, too. So I get it. I see how he presents himself. But I’m telling you, he’s not that way in person. At all.”
For more on the book, go to www.trump-ography.com.