To have the title of “Official White House Photographer” is a pretty impressive feat. Not only do you get the exclusive clearance of documenting the president’s every move, but you have the potential to capture some once in a lifetime, historic moments as well.
This was the life of Pete Souza who photographed Barack Obama’s two terms as President of the United States. He’d had some previous experience photographing presidents, as he served as Ronald Reagan’s official photographer from 1983 to 1989.
Over the last eight years, it is estimated that Pete captured around 2 million photographs of the president.
These photographs range from iconic moments to more candid, casual times. I find them especially fascinating because it’s like a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to behold the highest office in the nation, and all the many experiences that come with it.
Below are just 20 photos out of Pete’s impressive collection, and they gave a pretty interesting insight into life in the president’s shoes.
1. Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb, one of the hundreds of staff that maintain the White House.
2. Pete Souza captures a picture-perfect moment as the rainbow meets Obama’s wave.
3. Obama jokes with Trip Director Marvin Nicholson.
4. Obama catches some exercise with Bo.
5. Pete captures a first family portrait with a unique White House backdrop.
6. There’s not just national history made in the White House. One-year-old Lincoln Rose Smith learns how to walk with the president.
7. Obama tosses a football in the air during some quiet time between meetings.
8. Even the president is guilty of eating a “sample” from the fruit section at the grocery store.
9. Daughter Sasha hides to playfully scare her dad in the oval office.
10. Obama shoots nothing but net with other staff members of the White House.
11. On an impromptu lunch break, Obama visits a Five Guys eating establishment.
12. Obama catches the Super Bowl game with colleagues in the White House theater.
13. Barack and Michelle Obama share a romantic view of Chicago, Illinois.
14. Pete captures literal fireworks between the president and his wife.
15. The two share a humble ride on the back seat of a golf cart.
16. This photo offers a glimpse into the president’s point of view.
17. Obama enjoys a good fishing game with a pal.
18. On vacation, the president swims at Pyramid Rock Beach in Kaneohe Bay.
19. Obama focuses deeply in the Oval Office.
20. And finally, one of Pete’s more historic pieces, the Obama Administration listens tensely in the Situation Room while receiving an update on the Bin Laden mission.
It’s amazing to think of the countless moments that must have happened in the White House over the past eight years – but thanks to these photos, now we can get an idea of what it’s like to live in the life of the President of the United States.
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