The Best Photos of 2012 by White House Photographer Pete Souza

Here’s a gallery of 83 of the best photographs captured by Pete Souza, the official White House photographer for President Obama. You can view thumbnails of the entire set here.

We’ve written about Souza and his work a number of times in the past. We shared a reflection piece of his back in October, and wrote about the fantastic documentary, The President’s Photographer, the year before.

  • five2five

    Perhaps it should be noted that many photos in this set were NOT captured by Pete Souza.

  • joachim

    Despite any political differences I have with Obama, it is great to see such playfellnuss and youth in a president. And Pete Souza has captured that essence beautifully.

  • tyrohne

    Mere stagecraft and propaganda…

  • 3ric15

    You mean Fox News?

  • 3ric15

    Wrong. Go on Flickr and look up “The White House”. All the images in this slideshow are there and say “Official White House Photo by Pete Souza”.

  • beepbeep

    Boo Ya !!!

  • tyrohne

    They are guilty of distributing it, I suppose. But I don’t think they crafted this, you know, related to the post at hand bit of propaganda…

    These pictures aren’t so much “candids” as they are chosen to reflect the president in one way. Another poster said it; “playfellness (sic) and youth”. You could also say “exuberant” and “cool” and “insert your own adjective here”. He has access to the president in ways no one ever has but if you don’t think Pete Souza is culpable in crafting imagery to sell a brand (like, Fox News does, I suppose, I’m not a cable/satellite subscriber so I presume you have an unrelated point about them) then you, my friend, are quite the naive waif. This is no different than a Vanity Fair editorial shoot.

    Every leader/ruler/king has had a professional photographer and that photographer is tasked not with documentation per se but with documenting IN THE BEST LIGHT. I would be equally annoyed to see propaganda masquerading as “photography news” from the previous administration.

    I presume you are a fan of the President. Fair enough. But even then you have to admit there’s little real intrinsic or historical value in these photos but there is, however, a significant amount of marketing value. As photographs themselves, barring the subject of course, there’s nothing that makes me, a 10+ year avid hobbyist photographer curious or think I couldn’t or haven’t captured these images from friends, family or pro bono clients.

    So no, I don’t mean Fox News.

  • kunigit

    Wrong. Go to each of the photos and look at the credit in the descriptions.

  • Matt

    A little bit of skepticism is healthy, and critical thinking is a must have tool. But, IMO, you are going overboard. I have to disagree with you about the value of these photographs. There are some that have good historical value, and yes there are a good number that I think I could have done better.

    IMO for historical purposes it is important to see many aspects of a person in this type of position. So what if some are snapshots? I’d rather see photos like this available than not.

    What kind of photos do you think had been taken but were edited out, or were just not taken? Him kicking puppies? I think it is easy to be paranoid, but counterproductive.

  • mo

    i want his job!

  • Andre F. K.

    As much as I disagree with Obama’s policies, Pete DeSouza is a great photographer.

  • TyKomjati

    Agreed. Pete Souza is a fantastic photographer. I took one of his classes at Ohio University in 2007 and one of the things that most sticks with me is the way he challenged us to find a unique angle to shoot from. The image in this set where you can see the shadow of the president on the other side of the flag is exactly what I’m talking about. There are some big things on which I disagree with President Obama, but (selective as they may be) I found these photos to be incredibly humanizing and emotionally evocative.

  • 3ric15

    Ok, I stand corrected, but it just so happens that every picture I happened to click on was by Pete Souza and was also in this slideshow, which was like 5 pictures.

  • ryan180becker

    I can’t believe humility still exists on the internet. Kudos to you 3ric!

  • 3ric15

    I was semi-joking, and like Matt said, you are going a little overboard.

  • JosephRT

    Yea a lot of these were staged, and it’s that way for most official photos of Presidents, Democrat and Republican, but I don’t think anyone could argue that Pete Souza is not a fantastic photographer. Looking through the White House’s Flickr stream is equivalent to looking at a master’s exhibition at a gallery

  • tiredofit123

    Great photos; if I didn’t know who the subject was I’d appreciate them more.

    But I do, and can’t stand Obama.

  • Kris J Boorman

    Guy says “political photos are political”

    Stirs up discussion.

    Are we that starved