Former chief official White House photographer for President Barack Obama, Pete Souza had top security clearance and sat in on most meetings and major events with the president.
Souza estimates that he took approximately 1.9 million photos — sometimes more than 2,000 each day. His new book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait, is a collection of his favorites.
“I was there all the time,” he says. “I wasn’t talking to [Obama] all the time, but I was always in every meeting and pretty much every situation that he had as president.”
On his photo of Obama leaving the Oval Office for the last time
It’s one of the few times where I thought about the image beforehand. I knew he was going to walk out of that door, obviously. And I asked one of the [general services]workers if he had a ladder nearby that I could borrow so that I could get up high, high angle, and with a very wide angle lens try to show as much of the Oval Office as possible as he’s walking out the door.
On his Instagram account, where he often posts photos of Obama in response to news about President Trump (which some people interpret as trolling Trump)
I think for the most part what I’ve tried to do with my current Instagram feed is display public domain photos and be somewhat subtle and respectful in the words that I write. I think people can interpret them [however they want to]. … When somebody first wrote a story about “throwing shade” I actually had to look that up because I really didn’t know what it meant. … I kind of laughed, I guess.
I’ll say this: I do think that compared to what some people write on Twitter, I’m being very respectful in the way that I present my Instagram feed.