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See 10 beautiful portraits of Barack Obama’s presidency, captured by Pete Souza

There were many memorable moments during Barack Obama’s presidency. As the first African American to serve as president of the United States, Obama made history in more ways than one - and every step along the way was captured by his Chief Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza. With an intimate collection of almost two million photographs of the former president and his family to his name, Souza has become a star in his own right, with 1.6 million Instagram followers to date. Now, as he releases a collection of images in Obama: An Intimate Portrait, we take a look at 10 of the most moving and touching portraits - some of which have never been seen before - with words from Souza himself.

“The man was seated at a desk in a windowless basement office. It was January 5, 2005.

I had just met Barack Obama the day before, when he had been sworn in as a 43-year-old Senator. It was a day of pomp and circumstance. He had his family in tow: a stylish wife and two young daughters.”

The President with the First Lady in a freight elevator heading out to an inaugural ball. It was chilly, so he draped his jacket over her shoulders. January 20, 2009

“I saw right away how much those girls meant to him. He doted on them throughout the day. Making sure they were comfortable. Bending down outside the Capitol after Malia, then six, had twirled a little dance just for him.

“Later, inside the Capitol, getting kisses from Sasha, then three, and Malia in the middle of chewing a sandwich. All the while, it was as if he didn’t even notice there was this photographer with him, capturing those moments throughout the day.”

With Sasha and Malia during a break in the health care fight because of a massive snowstorm. February 6, 2010

“After only 24 hours, I had already begun thinking a crazy thought. The Senator was not from a famous or political family. His father was from Kenya, his mother from Kansas. His name was Barack Hussein Obama. But he had a gift. 

What if? I thought to myself. Could I be observing the future President of the United States?”

On the elevator to the private residence after the inaugural party at the White House. January 21, 2009

Reading at the Resolute Desk. In the final months of the administration, I tried to capture the President in that special light because I knew I’d never have the chance again. October 14, 2016

“I can never commit to calling any picture my favourite, but the President told me that this [below] was his favourite photo of the year when he saw it hanging in the West Wing a couple of weeks later.

Of course, his favourite changed every time he saw a new picture of him with Sasha or Malia.”

Zapped by Spider man

You can see more of Souza’s images from the book below:

Dancing with the First Lady at the Governors Ball in the East Room. February 22, 2009

Reacting from the bench during one of Sasha’s basketball games. The two coaches for her team couldn’t make it to the game, so the President and Reggie Love filled in. February 5, 2011

Greeting kids at a day-care centre in Bethesda, Maryland. June 9, 2011

Listening to Thelma “Maxine” Pippen McNair after signing H.R. 360, which provided for a Congressional gold medal to commemorate the four young African-American victims of the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. McNair’s daughter, Denise McNair, was one of the victims. May 24, 2013

With Ella Rhodes, in her elephant costume for Halloween. October 30, 2015

Meeting Prince George at Kensington Palace, in London. April 22, 2016

Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza is available to buy now, £26 from amazon.co.uk