This time the controversy revolves around President Obama’s meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a meeting with far-reaching political implications that everyone but Mr. Souza was yet again shut out of. Read more…
Top editors at the Associated Press slammed the White House — or, more specifically, the Obama Administration — last week for restricting photographers’ access to the president in favor of staged “propaganda.” Read more…
As President Obama’s four-year term in office comes to an end, TIME magazine caught up with his official photographer Pete Souza for thoughts on his career so far. It’s a pretty fascinating read:
Souza recalls one meeting that he missed because it had been rescheduled unbeknownst to him. “I was a little upset with the President’s secretary for not telling me that they had moved the meeting up, and [the President] heard us talking and he said, ‘What are you talking about? You were in that meeting.’ He’s so used to me being there that he thought that I had been in the meeting that I wasn’t even in. So I took that as a compliment.”
His access to Obama’s inner circle and day-to-day routine stems from the trust he built during their relationship prior to the presidency. “I’m there to seriously document his presidency. I’m not looking for cheap shots, and I think that’s the kind of relationship any White House photographer should have with the President they’re covering,” he says. “That they have a level of access and trust that will lead to important photographs for history.”
They also asked Souza to submit an edit of more than 100 photos that provides a nice overview of some of his best shots.
Pete Souza’s iconic photo of Obama and his national security team in the Situation Room has become extremely well known in the span of a week, so it’s unlikely that any reputable media outlet would dare alter the photo in any way — but that’s exactly what one newspaper did. Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung has a policy of never publishing photographs of women, and decided to publish Obama’s situation room photograph with Hillary Clinton and counterterrorism director Audrey Tomason Photoshopped out of the frame. Read more…
The big story around the world this week was the death of Osama bin Laden after a raid of his compound by US Navy SEALs. As a terrific example of how the Internet is transforming the way we view these world events, behind the scenes photos taken at the White House as these events transpired were almost immediately shared on the White House Flickr photostream. One particular photograph (shown above) showing President Obama and his national security team in the Situation Room has been widely published, and may go on to become one of the iconic photographs of Obama’s presidency. It has amassed over two million views in just a couple days, and is reportedly the fastest viewed photo ever on Flickr.
Now here’s a photograph you don’t get to shoot everyday: the White House Flickr stream published a photograph of the most powerful man in the world having dinner with the most powerful people in Silicon Valley. In terms of photography-related technologies, what you see is Picasa on the left, iPhone and Facebook Photos on either side of the President, and Flickr in red on the far end.
Being present at meetings like this is yet another reason why it must be awesome to be Pete Souza, President Obama’s photographer.
The PBS documentary that we mentioned yesterday is actually available online in its entirety. If you’d like to see what it’s like being the official photographer to the President of the United States, then this 20 55 minute program will be very interesting to you. Check out the 20 minute excerpt embedded above or through the link below.