–Pete Souza, Chief Official White House photographer
piece of marketing the president has employed: photography.
Pete Souza, the official White House photographer, has played a tremendous role in shaping the way in which Obama is perceived. Souza was named one of Washington's most-powerful, least-famous people by The New Republic, and Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post referred to him as “Obama’s secret weapon.”
Souza travels with the president, documenting his various day-to-day activities for historical record. The photographer and his staff produce as many as 20,000 pictures
each week, and nearly 2 million images will have been taken by the end of the president’s second term. Thousands of these photos are posted to the White House’s Flickr account, and more than 50 of the most memorable images can be seen in a recent article on the site Twisted Sifter.
Like many, I’ve been captivated by Souza’s images. Some have even become my all-time favorites, and I consider them on par with the work of other photographers I appreciate, including Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Annie Leibovitz, and Weegee.
staff members, engaging in quiet reflection, making speeches, etc.
One of my favorites was taken early in his presidency. In December 2009, Souza captured Obama giving a fist bump to a custodian while walking though an office building in Washington, D.C. I appreciate that the image is serious, yet casual. The photo suggests Obama’s humbleness, approachability, and concern for others. I sent it to a friend when it was first released, and noted then the picture would make a nice promotional piece. The president’s team must have agreed because it was incorporated into an advertisement during his reelection campaign in 2012.
Might I suggest the future president, whoever he or she may be, persuade Souza to stay on after Obama leaves office? I'd like to see how he'd go about documenting the next person to occupy the Oval Office.