Diana Walker became a contract photographer for Time in 1979 after several years as a free-lance photographer and picture researcher. Initially working on general assignments, including Rosalynn Carter’s travels during the Carter presidency and Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign, Walker was promoted to White House photographer in 1984 and covered the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. She left the White House beat in January 2001 to return to her former assignment as a Time contract photographer.
During Walker’s tenure as one of Time ’s White House photographers, she achieved extraordinary access and numerous exclusives. She was the only photographer permitted in the room when Nancy Reagan entertained Raisa Gorbachev for the first time. She was the first photojournalist allowed to spend an entire day inside the White House with President George H. W. Bush. This opportunity resulted in a 22- image photo essay “A Day in the Life of George Bush” published in Time in May of 1989.
Walker's work has been recognized with prizes and awards from the White House News Photographers Association, the National Press Photographers Association, and the Page One Awards. In 1990, Walker received a first prize award from World Press Photo for her photograph of President Bush with U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. Public & Private: Twenty Years Photographing the Presidency, a book of her photographs, was published in 2003.
From the guide to the Diana H. Walker Photographic Archive 99-224; 2002-056; 2003-087; 2004-107; 2004-193; 2009-236; 2011-376., ca. 1975-2000, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)