Pete Souza Reflects on Six Years Behind the Obama Lens

He's the man who “probably sees the president of the United States more than the first lady,” says Bloomberg's Al Hunt.

White House Photographer Pete Souza: Charlie Rose (12/22)

White House photographer Pete Souza this week released an album of his favorite photos of the year of President Barack Obama. In an interview with Bloomberg's Al Hunt on “Charlie Rose” on Dec. 22, Souza discussed how he approaches his job as a fly on the wall of the commander-in-chief's life. As Hunt said, Souza “probably sees the president of the United States more than the first lady, his children, or his chief of staff” (and certainly more than the White House press corps—sometimes to the chagrin of news photographers).

Here is Hunt's conversation with Souza, along with several of the photographs he discussed or chose for this year's album.

'I'm always looking for different angles'

March 7, 2014: "I'm always looking for different angles to frame the President as he boards Air Force One. I hadn't thought about including this one of the President and First Lady until Netflix released a video promotion of Season 3 with a video clip eerily similar to this photograph."
March 7, 2014: "I'm always looking for different angles to frame the President as he boards Air Force One. I hadn't thought about including this one of the President and First Lady until Netflix released a video promotion of Season 3 with a video clip eerily similar to this photograph."
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

'Call it the Shake Shack slide' 

May 16, 2014: "Call it the Shake Shack slide. As he is wont to do, the President normally does a group photo with restaurant staff when he stops for lunch or dinner somewhere. After having lunch with Vice President Biden at a Shake Shack in Washington, D.C., the President asked me where he should stand for the photo. Before I could even reply, the President jumped on the counter and slid onto the other side. The Vice President soon followed."
May 16, 2014: "Call it the Shake Shack slide. As he is wont to do, the President normally does a group photo with restaurant staff when he stops for lunch or dinner somewhere. After having lunch with Vice President Biden at a Shake Shack in Washington, D.C., the President asked me where he should stand for the photo. Before I could even reply, the President jumped on the counter and slid onto the other side. The Vice President soon followed."
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Lights, camera, action

June 9, 2014: "The President sits for a 3D portrait being produced by the Smithsonian Institution. There were so many cameras and strobe lights flashing but the end result was kind of cool. See the video at this link: http://1.usa.gov/1zhPtAf."
June 9, 2014: "The President sits for a 3D portrait being produced by the Smithsonian Institution. There were so many cameras and strobe lights flashing but the end result was kind of cool. See the video at this link: http://1.usa.gov/1zhPtAf."
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Face plant

June 23, 2014: "This was a photograph that went viral when we posted in on Flickr. Lawrence Jackson captured a young boy face-planting himself onto the sofa in the Oval Office as the President greeting his parents–a departing United States Secret Service agent and his wife."
June 23, 2014: "This was a photograph that went viral when we posted in on Flickr. Lawrence Jackson captured a young boy face-planting himself onto the sofa in the Oval Office as the President greeting his parents–a departing United States Secret Service agent and his wife."
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

From Ferguson to the Oval Office

Dec. 1, 2014: "Following the outcry over the shooting of Michael Brown by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, the President invited young civil rights leaders to a meeting in the Oval Office. Many of them had protested in Ferguson. A 30-minute scheduled meeting last more than an hour. As the meeting broke up, the President continued the conversation for a few minutes and I then managed to frame the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the foreground."
Dec. 1, 2014: "Following the outcry over the shooting of Michael Brown by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, the President invited young civil rights leaders to a meeting in the Oval Office. Many of them had protested in Ferguson. A 30-minute scheduled meeting last more than an hour. As the meeting broke up, the President continued the conversation for a few minutes and I then managed to frame the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the foreground."
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Underneath the mistletoe

Dec. 3, 2014: "The First Lady and I both spotted the President standing under the mistletoe and she moved in to grab a kiss from him following a dinner for Combatant Commanders and military leadership at Blair House in Washington, D.C."
Dec. 3, 2014: "The First Lady and I both spotted the President standing under the mistletoe and she moved in to grab a kiss from him following a dinner for Combatant Commanders and military leadership at Blair House in Washington, D.C."
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza 

 

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