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.”
“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.”
“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?”
“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.”
You can see more of Souza’s images from the book below:
Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza is available to buy now, £26 from amazon.co.uk